Zagreb: Croatian papers on Monday hailed their team's 3-1 victory against Ireland in the Group C Euro 2012 opener, praising 'hero Mario Mandzukic' whose two goals opened the way for a possible place in the quarter-finals.
"We can make it to the end!" read the Jutarnji List daily frontpage headline.
"The important victory against Ireland justified (coach Slaven) Bilic's optimism," the paper said stressing that after the first match Croatia were leading in the group with three points.
Italy and Spain have one point each after playing a 1-1 draw.
"Croatia is now in a very favourable position although real battles are still ahead of us," the Jutarnji List commented but estimated that "with such a game we can successfully face both Italy and Spain."
"SuperMandzo!" read the largest circulating Vecernji List daily frontpage headline with a photo of Wolfsburg's striker who was named man of the match.
The 26-year old Mandzukic opened the scoring in the third minute and headed his second after the break to make it 3-1.
"With an excellent game Croatia broke Ireland 3-1 and now it is the Azzurri's turn!" the paper said in a reference to Italy, the next opponent.
"Fiery Hurricane! Mandzukic destroyed the Irish!" read the Sportske Novosti sports daily frontpage.
Vatreni (the Fiery Ones) is the nickname of the Croatian national side.
Croatia, quarter-finalists in 2008, play Italy also in Poznan, Poland, on Thursday, before taking on defending champions Spain on June 18 in Gdansk.
Bilic's squad has been badly hit by injuries with defender Dejan Lovren, midfielder Ivo Ilicevic and veteran striker Ivica Olic all forced to miss the championship.