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Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig gave hosts Croatia a vital 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup tennis final with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 doubles victory over Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer. The two teams put their best players - Cilic and Del Potro - into action after the tie was level at 1-1 following Friday's opening singles matches at the Zagreb Arena.

Although the Croatians won in straight sets on Saturday, the match was decided by just a handful of big points. The Argentines failed to convert a break point early as the first set came down to a tiebreaker, which Croatia won due in large part to critical errors by Mayer.

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In the depressing atmosphere of the empty stands of Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatian footballers opened their qualifying campaign for the World Cup 2018 in Russia drawing 1-1 against Turkey.

Just three months after their opening match at Euro 2016 in France, the Croatian and Turkish national teams clashed again at the beginning of World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Croatian fans fondly remembered that June day in Paris when Luka Modric's long range strike was enough to beat Turkey at full stadium Parc des Princes.

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luka_modricReal Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric was named as the new captain of the national team on Monday, while the captain's armband will be rotated between Ivan Rakitic and Vedran Corluka in his absence.

"This is a beautiful feeling, I'm so proud. I would like to thank the head coach (Ante Cacic) for having confidence in me, and I hope to justify my new role," said Modric.

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The Netherlands started with a 3-1 win over Croatia with Steven Bergwijn scoring twice in the Group B opener at the U-19 European Football Championship in Berlin, Germany.

The Dutchmen pressed Croatia from the starting whistle on Tuesday and they almost grabbed the lead five minutes into the game. But Croatia's goalkeeper Karlo Letica denied Sam Lammer's back-heel effort on target.

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An 87th minute goal from Inter Milan forward Ivan Perisic wherein he beat Spain keeper David de Gea at his near post has given Croatia a stunning 2-1 win over the two-time defending European Champions, condemning Spain to a second place finish in Group D and setting up a last 16 showdown with Italy in what would be a repeat of the 2012 European Championship final.

Spain completely dominated the first half, passing the ball with ease around the Croatian midfielders and took an early lead through in-form hitman Alvaro Morata, who stabbed home Cesc Fabregas' cross from close range after some wonderful interplay between the Chelsea playmaker and his Manchester City counterpart David Silva.

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The Czech Republic kept their European Championship Last 16 hopes alive with a hard fought 2-2 draw against Croatia in Paris on Friday.

Ivan Perisic opened the scoring for Croatia before half-time which was followed by a fine finish from Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic to make it 2-0 in their favour after a defensive error from the Czech Republic. Milan Skoda's late header appeared a mere consolation for the Czech as the tall forward nodded home from a delightful pass from the outside of his right boot from former Arsenal man Tomas Rosicky.

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Croatia captain Darijo Srna rejoined the national football squad's training camp on Saturday after travelling to his home to attend the funeral of his father.

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