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Shambolic defending leaves Greece with World Cup qualification mountain to climb

Croatia took a giant leap towards Russia as they beat Greece 4-1 in the first leg of their play-off in Zagreb. But they were liberally helped out by their opponents and a series of horrendous defensive howlers.

After 13 minutes, Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis took a heavy touch when receiving Georgios Tzavellas’ backpass, then clattered into Nikola Kalinic. The Watford keeper, who had a nightmare debut for the Hornets in a 3-2 loss to Everton last weekend, couldn't prevent Luka Modric slotting home the penalty.

Croatia doubled their lead six minutes later after a swift passing move, flicks and flair included - and while Sokratis Papastathopoulos did pull one back with a header after half an hour, Ivan Perisic nodded in to restore their two-goal advantage soon after.

In the second half, Konstantinos Stafylidis gifted Croatia their fourth when he attempted to chest back a cross to his goalkeeper. It failed. Sime Vrsaljko intercepted to set up Andrej Kramaric with a simple finish.

Highlights are well worth watching unless you're a Greece fan, in which case it might be time to break out your Best of Euro 2004 film and hold yourself.

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