ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia took a decisive step towards World Cup qualification Thursday, overwhelming Greece for a Four-1 victory within the first leg of their playoff.

Captain Luka Modric shook off issues of poor type by opening the scoring from the penalty spot within the 13th minute, earlier than leaping into the air in celebration.

Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi awarded the penalty after Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis failed to manage the ball and fouled Nikola Kalinic with a poorly judged clearance.

Kalinic added one other objective six minutes later, flicking in a cross from Ivan Strinic with the aspect of his foot.

Greece struggled to regain composure and infrequently attacked, however Sokratis Papastathopoulos briefly silenced the house crowd, sending a header over keeper Danijel Subasic and into the web.

But aid for the guests was brief lived. Ivan Perisic headed in a cross from Sime Vrsaljko within the 33nd minute because the Croats dominated each wings.

The fourth objective got here 4 minutes after the break from Andrej Kramaric, swooping in after one other Greek error, by Kostas Stafylidis.

Greece hosts the second leg of the playoff on Sunday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.