Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), July 2 (IANS) Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said his team has to do more when they face hosts Russia in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Croatia beat Denmark 3-2 on penalties in their round of 16 clash after the score was 1-1 after 120 minutes on Sunday.
Dalic said at a post-match press conference here that Croatia had a difficult game against Denmark as the Danish were a disciplined and well-organised side, reports Xinhua news agency.
He said Croatia didn’t play as well as they did in their previous three games in the group phase which ended with straight wins but he was happy with the result.
“I think this can only get us closer together and make us stronger. After you win such a game, you know you are worth it. And my faith in my players is also stronger,” the coach added.
Dalic also spoke highly of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, saying he was the one who brought Croatia the victory after two Croatians missed penalties under pressure.
“(Our) goalkeeper is our hero tonight. He saved three penalties. You don’t see that every night. Great thanks to him.”
Luka Modric missed a key penalty in extra time but scored one in the penalty shootout. Dalic was full of praise for the Real Madrid star.
“Missing a penalty, that’s something that just happens. But what’s fascinating to me is his (Modric’s) determination to take one in the penalty shootout. He said himself that he was going to do that. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had not scored? This showed the quality of a great player,” Dalic said.
Dalic said that he expects a tough game against Russia as the hosts are a strong opponent. “It’s going to be a huge match. We cannot relax, and we must be even stronger and more stable because we are going to play a very difficult opponent, a great opponent.
“We are happy with what we have achieved, but we know we have to do more.”