Republic of Ireland 1-3 Croatia
Croatia made a great start to their campaign with a deserved 3-1 win against a hard-working but limited Republic of Ireland side.
Giovanni Trapattoni's team did well to equalise after the shock of going behind early on, but two goals either side of half time ultimately proved decisive and in truth Croatia could easily have won by a wider margin.
With games to come against Spain and Italy, the Irish are in danger of enduring a dismal and thought-provoking campaign.
They could not have got off to a worse start as, inside three minutes, Mario Mandzukic managed to get his head to Darijo Srna's cross despite slipping. Although Shay Given was able to get a hand to the ball the Aston Villa goalkeeper was unable to stop it crossing the line.
Croatia looked to be the more cultured side and it was something of a shock when they conceded an equaliser in the 19th minute. After Kevin Doyle had lured Vedran Corluka into giving away a soft free-kick, Sean St Ledger got ahead of the Tottenham defender and headed the ball past Stepe Pletikosa.
However, Croatia dominated the rest of the half and deserved to regain the lead two minutes before the interval.
Luka Modric's shot was half-blocked and when the ball was deflected to the unmarked Nikica Jelavic, the Everton striker dinked it over Given and into the back of the net.
The Croats scored the decisive third goal immediately after the restart when the impressive Mandzukic's header hit a post and then bounced off the unfortunate Given's head before nestling in the back of the net.
Slaven Bilic's side never looked to be in danger of letting Ireland back into the match and, although Robbie Keane was unfortunate not to win a penalty when he appeared to be felled by Gordon Schildenfeld, Croatia thoroughly deserved their comfortable victory.