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Published: 16:24 | 12/6/16

Modric inspires Croatia win

Real Madrid star hits winner against Turkey

Croatia got their Euro 2016 Group D campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Turkey at the Parc des Princes.

Luka Modric netted the only goal of the game on 41 minutes with a dipping volley from Selcuk Inan's clearing header that whistled past a flat-footed Volkan Babacan in the Turkey goal from 25 yards.

And Ante Cacic's side dominated the second half, with skipper Darijo Srna seeing a free-kick slam against the crossbar and Ivan Perisic heading a Mario Mandzukic cross against the woodwork from close range.

There were standout performances from Ivan Rakitic, Modric and Milan Badelj, while the Inter pair of Marcelo Brozovic and Perisic buzzed brightly down the flanks.

But Croatia's spirit was exemplified by former Manchester City defender Vedran Corluka, who had to leave the field four times after a first-half cut on the head repeatedly opened up, but still did not allow Turkey's lone striker Cenk Tosun a sniff of goal.

Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes the 2016 team is even better than the 1998 vintage that finished third in the France World Cup, and the three points leaves the Vatreni well placed to go deep in the tournament from a group that also contains Spain and the Czech Republic, who meet in Toulouse on Monday

Croatia meet the Czech Republic in St Etienne in the second Group D match on Friday, while Turkey face the holders Spain in Nice later the same evening.

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