Poland edge out Croatia 1-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Fifa_2006.jpg' class='caption'> Euzebiusz Smolarek scored in the second half to guide Poland to a 1-0 win in its last warm up game against Croatia.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Euzebiusz Smolarek scored in the second half to guide Poland to a 1-0 win in its last warmup game against Croatia. The win came six days before Poland opens the tournament against Ecuador in a first-round group that includes host Germany and Costa Rica. Croatia dominated the first half with maximum possession and created a number of chances. Poland, however, improved in the second half, putting together passing moves that it struggled with in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Colombia. "The team played much better today, maybe still not quite like it should, but definitely better. But, we can still fix every element of our game" said Poland coach Pawel Janas. Janas continued to experiment using Maciej Zurawski as the only forward in a 4-5-1 set up that helped Poland control the midfield. Smolarek put Poland ahead in the 54th minute heading in a corner from Zurawski. "The set piece was the same that we used against Colombia, but this time Smolarek was able to take advantage of it," said Zurawski. Despite the defeat, Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar said that he was happy with his squad's performance and that it would help them prepare for the tournament. "We were the dominant team on the ground. It was a good match to see where we stand and what we have to improve," said Kranjcar Croatia plays its final warmup match against Spain on Wednesday and opens the World Cup on June 13 against the defending champion Brazil. (AP)

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