Croatia qualifies for World Cup after 0-0 draw with Greece

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Croatia qualifies for World Cup after 0-0 draw with Greece
Croatia qualifies for World Cup after 0-0 draw with Greece

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals after a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the playoffs against Greece on Sunday.

With a considerable advantage from Thursday’s 4-1 victory in Zagreb, Croatia easily held off the Greek hosts as they pressed for an upset.

Croatia came closest to scoring in the 42nd minute when Ivan Perisic’s powerful shot ricocheted off Greece’s left post, with goalkeeper Orestis Karezis well beaten.

Greece came closest to scoring in the 87th when Panagiotis Tachtsidis’s shot from inside the area was deflected by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic’s legs.

Greece also had two shots just wide – one by Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the first half and another by Costas Mitroglou in the second – but otherwise did not threaten.

Croatia’s players celebrate at the end of the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. The match finished 0-0. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Greece’s Kostas Mitroglou, reacts after a missing opportunity to score during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Croatia’s Ivan Perisic, left, challenges Greece’s Zeca during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Greece’s Kostas Mitroglou, right, challenges Croatia’s Domagoj Vida during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Croatia’s players pose for a team photo prior to the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Greece’s Kostas Manolas, left, challenges Croatia’s Nikola Kalinic during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Croatia’s Nikola Kalinic, left, and Greece’s Kostas Manolas challenge for a high ball during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Croatia’s Ivan Perisic, left, fights for the balll with Greece’s Vasilis Torosidis during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Greece and Croatia at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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