Rangers star Borna Barisic was among the substitutes for Croatia as they secured their place at next year’s World Cup finals amid a downpour in Split, beating Russia 1-0 to book their spot in Qatar.
The win saw Croatia leapfrog Russia and secure top spot in Group H, leaving Russia having to make their way through the playoffs if they are to reach next winter’s World Cup.
Fyodor Kurdyashov’s own goal nine minutes from the end handed the hosts victory and the decisive three points.
Celtic’s Josip Juranovic was also involved for Croatia, starting at right-back for Zlatko Dalic’s side at the home of Hajduk Split.
The Croatians were runners up at the 2018 World Cup, losing to France in the final and will no doubt be fancied to do well in Qatar next winter.
Despite spending the full 90 minutes on the bench, Barisic will be hopeful he can keep his place in the squad ahead of next year’s finals, although with his replacement Borna Sosa creating the own goal, he may have to be patient with a place on the bench.
Rangers will be eager for Barisic to return to Scotland without any issues with one eye on this weekend’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Hibs at Hampden.
The Croatian has struggled for form this season, losing his place to Calvin Bassey a couple of times so far, but there’s little doubt over how important he can be when he’s on his game.
With the imminent arrival of a new manager, it would be the perfect time for Barisic to get his form where it needs to be and start impressing again.