A much changed Croatia side ensured they finished top of FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 Group F with a 2-1 victory over the eliminated New Zealand.
Dinko Jelicic chose to make nine alterations to their side, but goals from Stipe Perica and Ante Rebic meant Louis Fenton's late penalty was just a consolation.
After a bruising opening to the game, Max Crocombe was called into action in the ninth minute, reacting well as Marko Pajac's goal-bound free-kick evaded everyone in the New Zealand area. Crocombe's next action however was picking the ball out of the net after getting caught in no man's land when coming for Mato Milos' cross, allow Perica to head over the stranded keeper.
New Zealand arguably had their best spell of the tournament after the goal, putting Croatia under real pressure from a series of corners, but some poor defending almost cost them a goal in the midst of it.
Perica rose highest to head back across the New Zealand area, and when the bounce deceived two defenders it looked as if Kruno Ivancic was certain to score. However, alone and six yards out, he struck the bar.
With nothing to lose New Zealand battled and did all they could to create openings, but clear-cut chances didn't materialise as the final ball was often lacking. The introduction of the lively Ante Rebic added some bite to Croatia, who with Uruguay leading knew they would finish top while ahead.
The RNK Split forward's power and pace was a struggle for the Junior All Whites defenders, laying on a chance for Miro Kovacic just after the hour mark, but Crocombe saved well. It was Rebic who wrapped the game up too, firing into the top corner after being left in far too much space on the edge of the area.
Cameron Howieson and Tyler Bond both tested Simon Sluga, before Fenton got the goal New Zealand wanted with seven minutes left on the clock. The striker was fouled in the area before stepping up and taking the resulting spot-kick himself, scoring to give the Kiwis their first goal of the tournament.
With Uruguay beating Uzbekistan in Antalya, Croatia top the group, with the victors to the south finishing second in Group F, while New Zealand exit as the section's bottom side.