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Cyprus

Slovakia Beat Cyprus 2-0 in WCup Qualifying (Highlights)

September 8, 2021

SPLIT, Croatia — Slovakia beat Cyprus 2-0 to overtake Slovenia for third place in the group.

Croatia proved it can win without Luka Modric as it beat Slovenia 3-0 on Tuesday in its fight for a World Cup qualifying spot.

Real Madrid midfielder Modric missed all three of Croatia's games during the international break with a thigh injury, but the 2018 World Cup runner-up has emerged with two wins and a draw.

Croatia is level with Russia on 13 points atop Group H but leads on goal difference.

Marko Livaja gave Croatia the lead in the 33rd minute with a header on the rebound after Marko Pasalic headed against the post. Pasalic finally got his goal in the 66th from point-blank range off a low cross from Ivan Perisic. Substitute Nikola Vlasic added a third goal in stoppage time.

Croatia gained revenge for its 1-0 loss to Slovenia in March.

Russia beat Malta 2-0 on what was a frustrating evening for the Russians and their new coach Valery Karpin. Fyodor Smolov put Russia in front after a defensive mixup from Malta in the 10th minute. Russia struggled to break down Malta's packed defense and didn't score its second until Zelimkhan Bakaev's penalty in the 84th.

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