Zlatko Dalic’s side made sure of a place in Russia next summer by closing out a dour game that contained few chances. Dalic had been appointed in October after Croatia sacked their previous manager, Ante Cacic, following a 1-1 draw with Finland towards the end of the group stages of qualifying.
Greece’s coach, Michael Skibbe, made six changes to the team that lost heavily in the first leg and the home side produced a much better performance this time. However, although Greece dominated possession, they never really looked like scoring and their one shot on target, an effort by Panagiotis Tachtsidis, was comfortably saved by Danijel Subasic.
The result in Piraeus means Croatia have qualified for 10 out of 12 major tournaments since the Balkan state was founded in 1991. They have also won all five of their play-off ties to reach either World Cup or European Championship tournaments.
There were no Croatia fans at the match, as both sides, fearful of possible violence, had agreed to ban away supporters from each leg.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010