Modric injured in loss against Brazil

Associated Press
Croatia's Luka Modric is fouled by Brazil's Luiz Gustavo, right, during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Playmaker Luka Modric is in doubt for Croatia's next World Cup match against Cameroon after injuring his foot in the tournament opening loss to Brazil.

Croatia team officials on Friday said Modric was taken to a hospital in Salvador, near the squad's training base, to check the extent of his injury.

Modric's absence for the June 18 match against Cameroon would be a major blow for Croatia, which lost 3-1 to Brazil on Thursday and is bottom of Group A together with Cameroon, which lost 1-0 to Mexico on Friday.

The skillful Real Madrid midfielder is the backbone of the powerful Croatian midfield.

"God forbid that the injury is serious," Croatia coach Niko Kovac said.

Kovac said he won't make additional comments about the officiating by Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura in the match against Brazil that included a contentious penalty call for the hosts.

"I hope that it will be the last time that we talk about referees," Kovac said. "Now we focus on the match against Cameroon."

After the Thursday opener, Kovac was furious about the refereeing, calling it a "robbery" and "shame."

"What we have showed on the (pitch) was great," Kovac said. "What I can see in players' eyes is their desire to make up for what we have lost in the opener."

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