POZNAN, Poland (AFP) –
Croatia beat the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in their Euro 2012 Group C opening match here on Sunday.
Mario Mandzukic scored for Croatia after just two-and-a-half minutes with a header that looped beyond Irish keeper Shay Given.
Sean St Ledger levelled with a close range header for the Irish after 18 minutes only for Nikica Jelavic to put the Croatians back in front just before the break.
And Mandzukic made the points safe when Given deflected in his header four minutes after the restart, ending a 14-match unbeaten run for the Irish under Giovanni Trapattoni.
Earlier in the same group, defending champions Spain had been held 1-1 by Italy.