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Stylish Croatia belts Greece, puts one foot in Russia (video)

Soccer WCup2018 Croatia Greece

Croatia’s Luka Modric celebrates after scoring the opening goal of his team during the World Cup qualifying play-off first leg soccer match between Croatia and Greece at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Thursday Nov. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

AP

Greece’s World Cup hopes started flickering early in its 4-1 first leg loss to dominant Croatia in Zagreb on Thursday.

Luka Modric’s 13th minute penalty was followed quickly by a Niko Kalinic goal in the 19th minute. Borussia Dortmund man Sokratis Papastathopoulos pulled back what could be a vital away goal in the 30th minute, but the two-goal deficit was restored three minutes later by Ivan Perisic.

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Andrej Kramaric scored a second half goal to add to the Greek burden ahead of Sunday’s return leg.

Greece has scored more than two goals in a match just twice in the start of 2016, and both wins came against minnows Gibraltar.

For those who enjoy the ‘cheeky’ nature of the game, we present Kalinic’s slick outside of the boot finish.

Follow @NicholasMendola