Luka Modric scored a sensational long-range volley as Croatia deservedly opened their Euro 2016 campaign with victory over Turkey in Paris.
Modric struck towards the end of the first half and his team created numerous chances to extend their lead as they dominated after the interval.
Darijo Srna and Ivan Perisic struck the woodwork while Turkey keeper Volkan Babacan made several good saves as Ante Cacic’s side moved to the top of a tough group that includes Spain and the Czech Republic.
Turkey’s best chance came in the opening half, when Ozan Tufan saw his header saved – but despite being roared on by their passionate fans inside the Parc des Princes, they were second best on Sunday.
They did produce one scare for the Croatian defence right at the end but Vedran Corluka, wearing a white bandage that evoked shades of former England defender Terry Butcher after he suffered a cut to this head from a stray elbow in the first half, made a timely block.
Magic from Modric
Just minutes before Modric broke the deadlock with his sensational volley, the Real Madrid playmaker had thrown his arms out in a gesture of frustration at a team-mate, indicating how he had wanted to receive the ball.
The match was turning out to be a contest more about balls into the box from wide areas than defence-splitting passes. That was despite an abundance of talented midfielders on display, including Modric, Barcelona pair Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan, plus Besiktas’ highly-rated but disappointing Oguzhan Ozyakup, who was withdrawn at the break.
Veteran right-back Srna had delivered several telling crosses into the Turkey area, as did Ivan Perisic from the left side, although Marcelo Brozovic in particular was guilty of failing to make the most of the openings.
That all changed shortly before the break when Modric showed superb technique to strike crisply from 25 yards after a clearance from Selcuk Inan had looped high into the cloudy Paris sky.
As the 30-year-old slid on his knees towards his team’s fans – one of whom invaded the pitch to joint the celebrations – Turkey keeper Volkan Babacan might have wondered if he should have done better with the dipping shot.