Josip Juranovic enhances Celtic value with fine Croatia display as Alistair Johnston has bad miss for Canada
The 27-year-old, who has been linked with a number of big European clubs including Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, started his third consecutive match in Qatar for Croatia and was a dependable presence for his team. The former Legia Warsaw player was energetic up the right flank, getting into a couple of dangerous attacking positions, and was solid in defence, especially as the Belgians piled on the pressure in the second half and they tried to keep their own World Cup hopes alive. His performances at the World Cup for the 2018 runners-up have been strong and will have no doubt enhanced his reputation going into the January transfer window.
Croatia finished as runners-up in Group F on five points behind winners Morocco, who defeated Canada 2-1 to top the group, with the Belgians failing to make it to the next round. Juranovic and his team-mates will take on the winners of Group E – either Spain, Japan or Costa Rica – on Monday at 3pm. Another Old Firm player in Rangers’ Borna Barisic was in the Croatia squad, but did not come off the bench.
In the match between Canada and Morocco, Alistair Johnston – widely expected to join Celtic in the coming days from Montreal CF for £3million – played the whole match for the Maple Leafs. He really should have scored an equaliser in the second half, heading over the bar from inside the six-yard box with the goal gaping. However, he will be pleased with his own displays at the World Cup and has shown Celtic fans what he is capable of.