Sep 9, 2014 at 7.45pm UK
Croatia
2-0
Malta
Modric (46'), Kramaric (81')
Mandzukic (31')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Fenech (59')
Borg (31')

Result: Croatia ease past 10-man Malta

Result: Croatia ease past 10-man Malta
© Getty Images
Croatia ease past 10-man Malta thanks to goals from Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric.

Goals from Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric got Croatia off to a winning start as they beat Malta 2-0 in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Malta were forced to play over an hour with 10 men after Steve Borg was sent off for angrily reacting to a challenge from Mario Mandzukic on 31 minutes.

Borg was given a straight red card after a coming-together with Mandzukic, and the Atletico Madrid striker was also booked for his part in the altercation.

Despite Malta's first-half resistance, it didn't take long before for the Croats to take the lead in the second period.

Real Madrid midfielder Modric netted almost immediately after the restart to mark his 29th birthday with a goal for his national side from all of 30 yards.

With less than 10 minutes remaining any chance of a Malta comeback was wiped out when Andrej Kramaric struck to give Niko Kovac's side the points in their opening game.

Croatia players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Croatia and Mexico at Arena Pernambuco on June 23, 2014
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