Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic warned his players against complacency after his side edged toward a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup knockout phase with a 4-1 rout of Canada.
Sunday’s win means the 2018 finalists need only a draw in their final group match against Belgium on Thursday to progress to the round of 16. Canada, playing in their first World Cup since 1986, will miss a place in the next round irrespective of the result of their clash with Morocco, also on Thursday.
“We took a small step here, but we are far from our ultimate goal,” Dalic told a news conference. “We must not accept the possibility of taking only one point from the match with Belgium. We should not be carried away by the euphoria.”
Canada threatened to cause an upset at Khalifa International Stadium when Alphonso Davies scored the team’s first World Cup goal in the second minute. But a brace from Andrej Kramaric and goals from Marko Livaja and Lovro Majer ensured Croatia secured their first win of the tournament, reports Xinhua.
Dalic praised Canada, saying the North American outfit gave his players a difficult test.
“We played an extraordinary Canada, they were full of energy,” Dalic said. “They scored a goal in the first minutes that gave them more energy and power, but we managed to stabilize ourselves.”