Croatia’s disappointing start to their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign continued as they were held by Ukraine in Kharkiv.
Nine of the eleven that Slaven Bilic fielded were regulars in the starting lineup at Euro 2008, but Croatia were unable to find a way past Anatoli Pyatov, who produced some fine second half saves to keep Croatia at bay. The two unfamiliar faces were Ivica Krizanac, who was deputising for the suspended Robert Kovac, and Ognjen Vukojevic. Croatia’s 36 game unbeaten run at home in World and European qualifying had been broken by England last month, with Theo Walcott scoring a hat trick in the 4-1 win.
Ukraine’s best chances came in the first half, but Stipe Pletikosa was up to the task of stopping Andriy Shevchenko.
The result leaves Croatia in third place in Group 6, five behind leaders England, and three behind Ukraine.
Croatia’s next game is against Andorra on Wednesday.