33 Years Ago Today: Relive the Historic Football Match Between Croatia and USA [Video]

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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.


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.

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