Croatia see off Greece to close on World Cup

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 10 2017 11:54 AM

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates his fourth goal with team mates Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. File photo. Sergio Perez, Reuters

ZAGREB - Croatia cruised to a 4-1 victory over Greece in their World Cup play-off first leg on Thursday to move to the brink of a spot at next year's finals in Russia.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric opened the scoring in Zagreb from the penalty spot in the 13th minute, with Nikola Kalinic flicking in a second just six minutes later.

Centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave the visitors hope on the half-hour mark, but Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic powered in a close-range header before the interval and Andrej Kramaric wrapped up a comfortable win for Ante Cacic's side.

Croatia, who finished a disappointing second in Group I behind Iceland, are looking to qualify for their fifth World Cup since 1998.