ZAGREB, 17 October 2023 – Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Croatia’s first official football match under the modern-day Croatian flag.
On 17 October 1990, Croatia played the USA at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium in front of over 30,000 fans which was a milestone in Croatian football, and one of the notable events of the crucial period in the nation’s history.
The United States was on a tour of Europe where the team was already scheduled to play Poland. Croatian businessman Jure Klarić financed the US$90,000 needed for the Americans to subsequently travel to Zagreb.
The match took place at the same time as the final of the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in which several young Croatian talents played for Yugoslavia (Zvonimir Boban, Davor Šuker, Robert Jarni, Igor Štimac, Robert Prosinečki and Alen Bokšić) .
Croatia went on to win the match 2–1 with the match marking the debut of the Croatian national team’s checkered jersey.
“This game belongs to no individual. It was Croatia’s game” – head coach Dražan Jerković
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) October 17, 2022
CROATIA – USA 2:1
ZAGREB – Maksimir Stadium: Att: 30,000. Ref: Sergio Coppetelli (Italy). Scorers: 1:0 Asanović (29′), 2:0 Cvjetković (33′), 2:1 Dayak (80′)
CROATIA: Ladić (70′ Gabrić), Vulić, Dražić, Čelić, Kasalo, Peršon (71′ Židan), Shala, Kranjčar, Cvjetković, Asanović (58′ Mladenović), Mlinarić.
USA: Meola, Trittschuh, Fraser, Banks (81′ Windischmann), Balboa, Armstrong, Harkes (57′ Bliss), Eichmann, Murray (46′ Dayak), Krumpe, Vermes.