Thursday, May 13, 2021

We will be ready for England in semis, says Croatia’s coach, Dalic


tiamin rice

Croatia will have enough energy to face England in the World Cup semi-final despite back-to-back games going to extra time and penalties, boss Zlatko Dalic says.

Having edged past Denmark on penalties in the last 16, Croatia overcame hosts Russia in another dramatic shootout.

They return to action on Wednesday when they meet England in Moscow for a place in the final on July 15.

“Of course there is some power left for the English,” said Dalic.

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While England have played 480 minutes and been involved in one penalty shootout in Russia, Croatia has played 30 minutes more and their past two games have gone to penalties.

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Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic needed lengthy treatment towards the end of normal time against Russia for a suspected hamstring problem but was able to continue.

“This was not a beautiful game, it was a fight, a battle for the semi-final,” added Dalic, who broke down in tears after Croatia confirmed a first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1998. “We were lucky.”

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Looking ahead to the England match, the coach said: “We do not want to stop, we will try to play our best game.

“We have two matches to play and we are very motivated.

“We’re giving our all. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us.”

Dalic also explained why he had been overcome with emotion after Ivan Rakitic sent Croatia through.

“I was concentrated throughout the match but after Rakitic’s penalty, it came bursting out of me,” he said.

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Dalic (wearing a white shirt) breaks down in tears after his side reached the World Cup semi-final

“I felt really relieved. We made ourselves happy but we also made everybody back home in Croatia happy.

“Those emotions just burst out of me. I don’t cry often but now I have a good cause. Croatia is in the semi-finals. This is a great success and a great result.”

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