Monday, 28 June 2021

EURO 2020 Round of 16: Croatia Eliminated After Losing to Spain in Extra Time (3:5)

June 28, 2021 - Croatia has been eliminated after losing to Spain (3:5) in the EURO 2020 round of 16 in Copenhagen on Monday. 

Croatia and Spain met in Copenhagen on Monday for their EURO 2020 round of 16 match. The match was played at Parken Stadium and officiated by Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey.

Unlike the group stage, Croatia had the support of many fans, with over 5,000 estimated at Parken Stadium today. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranović, Vida, Ćaleta-Car, Guardiol, Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić, Vlašić, Petković, Rebić

Spain: Simon, Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Gaya, Koke, Busquets, Pedri, Sarabia, Torres, Morata

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Slobodan Kadic

Spain possessed the game at the start and even had an early chance approaching the 2nd minute. Livaković was there for an easy save. 

Spain had another chance in the 5th minute which they missed in front of the goal. Croatia tried a quick counter but Kova played it out. 

Croatia was shaky in the first 10 minutes, which Spain used to calmly and confidently play the ball up the pitch. 

Gvardiol stopped the Spain attack with a ball to Petković who was fouled by two Spain players for a free kick. 

Spain had another dangerous chance in the 12th minute but shot outside the net. Rebić tried to find Vlašić at the top of the box in one of Croatia's few attacks of the half thus far, but the Spain defense had no issues retaking possession. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Livaković made the one-footed save of the tournament in the 15th minute, and with the help of Gvardiol, the ball went out for a corner.  

A quick Croatia counter-attack in the 17th minute saw quick one-twos between Gvardiol, Petković, Brozović, and Vlašić but no progress was made. Croatia was saved by the hand of Livaković yet again two minutes later.

But a catastrophic Spain mistake put Croatia in the lead one minute later - and it was 1:0 Croatia thanks to an own goal in the 20th minute! 

The goal gave Croatia just the momentum they needed as they continued attacking in the 5 minutes that followed. Rebić was taken down in the box which Croatia called for a penalty (with no luck), and Vlašić hit the side netting moments later. 

Vlašić dribbled through the Spain midfield to find Kova who shot just over the post.

A corner for Spain in the 31st minute was the biggest threat they had since the beginning of the half. Another Spain corner in the 36th minute resulted in a shot *almost* on goal, but it went out for a Croatia goal kick.  

A series of shots on goal and incredible saves by Livaković ultimately became too much for the Croatia defense, and Sarabia equalized for 1:1 in the 38th minute. 

Spain had two corners in the 41st minute - the latter of which was cleared by Rebić's head.

Juranović had a good cross into the box with two minutes to go in the first half but the Spain keeper stopped the play. Kova played the perfect through ball to Rebić one minute later which was only just too quick for him. Morata tried putting Spain ahead moments later but shot over the goal. 

The match ended 1:1 at the half.  

Dalić made one sub to start the second half - Kramarić came on for Petković. 

A Spain free kick from 30 meters out was cleared by Vida three minutes in. Vlašić tried for a quick Croatia counter once the ball was cleared but took a long first touch. 

Brozović switched the pitch to find Juranović who attacked up the right wing, cut in, and tried finding Kramarić. 

Spain maintained possession again for the first 10 minutes of the second half. A cross from the left found the head of an unmarked Azpilicueta in the box for the Spain lead. It was 1:2 for Spain in the 57th minute. 

Rebić just didn't have it this time, and after missing a great chance on the left side, Dalić subbed him off Mislav Oršić in the 67th minute. With just under 25 minutes to go, the Croatia fans grew even louder. 

Kramarić was one-on-one with the keeper one minute later which was called offside. 

Spain subbed off Sarabia for former Dinamo star Dani Olmo, and Garcia for Torres in the 70th minute. A Spain goal was called offside a minute later. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Dalić went in with yet another offensive sub, this time calling off Juranović for the fresh legs of Josip Brekalo. There were 15 minutes to go. 

A quick Spain free kick from the midfield line found Torres unmarked on the right side. He scored for 1:3 Spain in the 77th minute. 

Dalić made two more subs - Budimir came on for Kovačić and Pašalić for Vlašić.

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Slobodan Kadic

A mixup in the Spain defense and a series of blocked shots in front of the goal saw Oršić score for 2:3 with 5 minutes to go! 

The ref added 6 minutes to the end of the match. Kramarić had a shot on goal which was called offside.

But then it happened - Croatia came back to equalize in the 2nd minute of added time - Pašalić scored for 3:3! The match went to extra time. Two 15 minute halves were played. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia had a great attack in the first minute and Oršić just shot over the goal! Another huge opportunity for Croatia came in the 95th minute with multiple shots on goal all saved by the Spain defense. 

Not long after, Morata was found alone on the far post to score for 3:4 in the 100th minute.

Busquets was subbed off for Rodri in the 101st minute. 

Kramarić had a shot right at the keeper in the 102nd, which wasn't enough. Spain came back to score again for 3:5 in the 103rd. 

The second half of extra time started with a stellar through ball by Oršić to Budimir who shot just wide of the goal. But there was not much time left for Croatia to get two goals...

Dalić subbed off Modrić for Ivanušec in the 113th minute. Spain attacked in the final minutes, hindering Croatia from making it past the midfield line. It was a decent effort from Croatia, but not enough. 

The match ended 3:5 for Spain. 

Spain plays against the winner of France and Switzerland, which we will find out tonight from 9 pm. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Croatia Fans on Ferry from Germany to Denmark (PHOTOS)

June 27, 2021 - Croatia fans were spotted traveling on the ferry from Germany to Denmark on Sunday ahead of the round of 16 clash against Spain on Monday in Copenhagen. 

The Croatia national team will play their decisive round of 16 match against Spain tomorrow in Copenhagen, and unlike all Group D matches in London and Glasgow - Croatia fans are able to travel to Denmark with no problem. 

The Croatian Football Federation announced ticket sales earlier this week, which saw all 3,500 tickets in the Croatia sector sell out within hours. The Federation announced an additional 250 tickets for fans on Saturday, costing 1400 kuna for Category 1 and 950 kuna for Category 2. 

The excitement of fans and euphoria similar to that of the 2018 World Cup is hard to escape, and a red-and-white-check spectacle in Copenhagen is expected. 

Just a little over 24 hours before kick off, we are given a look into how Croatia fans across Europe are making their way to the Danish capital. 

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Tino Ostojić

Like these Croatia fans, for example, traveling from Nuremberg and Munich, Germany to Denmark by ferry!

Stay tuned as TCN will be reporting live from Copenhagen tomorrow. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

 

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Zlatko Dalić Ahead of Spain: Who Will Replace Ivan Perišić?

June 27, 2021 - Who will replace Ivan Perišić in the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain? Zlatko Dalić addresses the press. 

Croatia will play the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain on Monday at 6 pm in Copenhagen. Today, a press conference was held at which coach Zlatko Dalić and midfielder Marcelo Brozovic addressed the press, reports Jutarnji List.

The main topic was the match against Spain, although most questions were related to Ivan Perišić dropping out of the Euros after he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Perišić has to be isolated for ten days, which means he would miss the other knockout phases until the final. 

Zlatko Dalić announced that he will not change the concept of the game, which proved to be a winner, and that he has a real replacement for Ivan Perišić.

"I spoke to Perišić, he is upset, it's a shock, at the last minute we were left without the best player from the group stage. We have to adapt to that. He will be our fan. God willing that everything will be fine and we will pass, so he will join us in 7-8 days. We will play for him too. It is not easy for him, he lived for it, he is in great shape, he scored two goals, but it happened," said Dalić for Perišić and added:

"Spain certainly arranged the game so that they have a more defensive player on that side who would dedicate himself to Perišić. Now they might change that and put in a more offensive one again. We will go with the player who is most similar to Ivan."

Dalić did not say who will play on the left wing.

"I have said before that we have the best selection of players in that position. There is Brekalo, Rebić, and Oršić, who play it naturally in their clubs. If we agreed differently, Kramarić and Ivanušec are here. We are going for a natural solution; we will not think much; I believe that the replacement will be of good quality. Hard to be on the level of Perišić, but he can give a lot. So we’re not going to change much because we’re going to have to spin a couple of players; we’re going to play with the same option as it was before."

Is there a fear that there will be more infected?

"It was a shock for all of us, but we have been living under stress for more than a month. We are ready for that, we adhere to everything, and we are not afraid of anything. We do everything to prevent that from happening. I hope that it won't disturb us a lot and that we are ready for the game."

Spain is quite confident. Do you follow their media?

"We should not care who says what, whether someone underestimates us or not. We respect everyone, especially Spain, which is one of the best teams in Europe by tradition, and they are not happy to play with us either. We will not underestimate them; we will be maximally motivated and responsible, and it will be seen who is best in the end. We know what we want; it’s to move forward."

Will Ćaleta-Car play stopper?

"We will not change much; that is evident. If we rotated more positions to the players, that would not be acceptable for this game. It’s not my idea; it’s not my experiment. Let's go with the same game."

This time, Croatia will have the real support of the fans.

"It will be much nicer and more pleasant than in the first three games where it was really hard. The fans mean a lot to us, and we will do everything not to disappoint them."

One Spanish journalist asked Dalić if he agreed with Ivica Olić that the odds are 50:50 or is Spain still the favorite?

"We are playing against an excellent national team, but we can't say they are better than us. Although I have huge respect for the Spain coach and a team that knows what it wants. I believe in our team. But I don’t want to say we are worse than anyone; the chances are equal."

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 25 June 2021

Bogdanović is Back: Croatia Basketball Tops Puerto Rico in Second Split Friendly

June 25, 2021 - In the second friendly match in Split, this time closed to the public, Croatia basketball tops Puerto Rico 72:66 (22-18, 24-9, 10-17, 16-22).

Puerto Rico started attacking aggressively, jumping to a 2-9 lead, forcing coach Veljko Mršić to call a time-out. Croatia successfully completed several well-executed plays and took the lead at 11-9. There were a few more draws in the first half, but Croatia held the reins firmly in their hands, and did not allow Puerto Rico to threaten the result seriously in the remaining three quarters, reports HKS.

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HKS

Croatia held the biggest advantage when they were up by 23 points at 52:29 and 54:31 in the third quarter, both times thanks to Ante Toni Žižić. By the end of the game, Puerto Rico managed to get close to a single-digit difference.

Bojan Bogdanović also officially played the first game in this cycle of preparations, scoring 12 points with 5 assists. Ante Žižić was perfectly accurate (7/7 for field goals and 4/4 free throws) with which he scored 18 points and 7 rebounds. Captain Roko Leni Ukić also hit double digits with 11 points and Miro Bilan with 10 points.

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HKS

“This match was closed to the public; we tried some things to see what it would look like. This is our second game in 24 hours. The first 25 minutes were excellent, we were up by 23 points, but we gave up in the last 15 minutes. We allowed Puerto Rico a lot of attacking jumps, as well as some points from the counterattack. The defense was at a nice level, we received 66 points, and we also created quite good situations offensively. Just like yesterday, our shots were weaker. However, 20-25 shots were made well, and when the tournament comes, and we are fresh, they will go in. All in all, we are satisfied. That preparation period was not easy because we got a new player every preparation game, and we had to start from scratch again, have the training, and show actions. There was a little loss of rhythm and intensity in training. However, now we have five days left until the first game of the tournament; it's time to get well, play, do our best, and try to qualify for the Olympic Games," said Veljko Mršić, the national team coach. 

The Olympic qualifying tournament in Split is held from June 29 to July 4, and Spaladium Arena is partially open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at ulaznice.hr and the Spaladium Arena box office.

"I would really like the hall to be filled as much as possible because we really need it. It is different to play in front of a full hall, and that is why I invite all basketball fans to come, support us and together, in synergy, win a place in the Olympic Games and enjoy those four days of top basketball."

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Croatian Invasion in Copenhagen: Croatia Sector Sells Out against Spain!

June 24, 2021 - The Croatia sector at Parken stadium in Copenhagen has sold out for Croatia's round of 16 match against Spain! 

Within four hours after the start of ticket sales for the EURO 2020 round of 16 Croatia-Spain match, Croatia fans bought all available tickets for the Croatia sector at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, HNS reports. 

Ticket sales for the Croatia sector began at 11:00 am on Thursday via Uefa's ticket portal, and tickets could be purchased using access codes. At around 15:00, all available tickets for the Croatia sector were sold out, which will thus be filled to capacity in the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain, played on June 28 at 18:00 in Copenhagen.

On Friday, June 25, the free sale of tickets for neutral fans will start via the Uefa ticket portal, if there are unused tickets from other quotas available to Uefa.

The Croatian Football Federation recommends all fans, regardless of the country they come from to Copenhagen, follow the current information on the rules of entry into Denmark on the official website of the Danish authorities.

The rules for entering the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen can be found on the official UEFA website.

Croatia and Spain have played a total of eight games, winning three, drawing one, and losing four. If you ask the bookmakers, Croatia will record their fifth defeat on Monday because Spain is the big favorite of the match. The odds on their victory dropped to 1.60, and Croatia's climbed to a whopping 6.00.

Recall, Croatia lost to England at Wembley, drew against the Czech Republic in Glasgow, and defeated Scotland in Glasgow to win second place in Group D. Spain drew against Sweden and Poland but topped Slovakia 5:0 for second place in Group E. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Croatia and Spain to Meet in EURO 2020 Round of 16

June 23, 2021 - Croatia and Spain will meet in the EURO 2020 round of 16! 

In the EURO 2020 round of 16, the Croatia national team will play against the second-placed team from Group E, which is Spain.

After beating Scotland and finishing second in the group, Croatia knew they would play the second-placed team of Group E in the round of 16 on Monday in Copenhagen. There was total chaos ahead of the final round and all four teams had a chance to be second. 

Spain outclassed Slovakia 5:0 and did their part, but Sweden went up 2:0 and held a solid first place in the group. 

But when we thought it was the end, Lewandowski scored for 1:2, and six minutes before the end, he scored again. It seemed then that Croatia would face second-placed Sweden.

However, in the 94th minute, Claesson scored for 3:2, and Sweden finished first in Group E. 

The Croatia and Spain match is scheduled for June 28 in Copenhagen at 18:00. 

More soon...

Source: Index.hr

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

EURO 2020: Croatia Tops Scotland for 2nd Place in Group D and Round of 16 Spot!

June 22, 2021 - Croatia tops Scotland 3:1 in the final Group D match for 2nd place and a spot in the round of 16! 

Croatia and Scotland met in the decisive Group D match for a spot in the EURO 2020 round of 16. The two nations met at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Tuesday night. 

Both teams entered the match with one point. Croatia drew 1:1 against the Czech Republic and lost to England 1:0. Scotland drew 0:0 with England and lost to the Czech Republic 2:0. Both teams could make the round of 16 only with a victory, and if the match ended in a draw, both Croatia and Scotland would be eliminated.

About 11,500 fans were in the Hampden Park stands, and maybe 100 or so Croatia fans expected. 

Lineups

SCOTLAND: Marshall - McTominay, Hanely, Tierney - O'Donnell, McGregor, Armstrong, Robertson - McGinn - Adams, Dykes.

CROATIA: Livaković - Juranović, Lovren, Vida, Gavrdiol - Brozović, Kovačić - Vlašić, Modrić, Perišić - Petković.

Coach Zlatko Dalić thus left Kalinic, Sluga, Vrsaljko, Barisic, Caleta-Car, Brekalo, Kramaric, Budimir, Pasalic, Rebic, Badelj, and Ivanusec on the Croatia bench. 

The game started promptly at 20:00 GMT. Scotland received a corner kick in the first few seconds of the match. 

Croatia had their first attacking play in the 3rd minute thanks to Juranovic, Vlasic, and Modric moving up the right-wing. Petkovic received the ball in the offside position. 

A cross from Robertson into the box found McGinn for a close encounter in the 6th minute which Livakovic saved from a goal. 

Juranovic, Vlasic, and Modric attacked again in the 8th minute. Adams retaliated with a shot on goal moments later. 

Scotland was dangerous again in the 12th minute which Livakovic cleared. They shot right at Livakovic for an easy save one minute later. 

But a former Hajduk combination eased Croatia's nerves. Juranovic and Perisic found Vlasic who scored for 1:0 Croatia in the 17th minute!

Modric nailed a rocket at the Scotland goal in the 21st minute which touched the fingertips of the keeper but the ref called a goal kick. 

A shaky and slippery Croatia defense nearly saw Scotland score three times in the 23rd minute, but Livakovic kept the result at 1:0. 

Croatia possessed the game for the remainder of the half. Gvardiol launched a play up the left to Perisic and Juranovic who shot over the goal in the 37th minute. It's safe to say Croatia was looking far better than the first two games. Another Croatia attack moments later saw Perisic shoot over the goal. 

But Scotland came back with the equalizer after a quick counter and mishap in the Croatia defense. Livakovic could not save the day here - it was 1:1 in the 42nd minute. 

The match ended 1:1 at the half.  

Dalic went into the second half with no changes to the lineup. 

A Croatia attack saw Josko Gvardiol and the Scotland keeper collide in the 49th minute. Croatia had their first corner of the second half in the 53rd minute. 

Croatia had a brilliant chance in the 55th minute, but Modric played Perisic offside which Marshall saved in the end. 

A Scotland ball to the far post almost found McGinn for the Scotland lead but Croatia was lucky to keep it 1:1.  

Croatia went back into the lead thanks to their faithful leader. Luka Modric scored with a classic outside of the boot shot for 2:1 Croatia in the 62nd minute!

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Slobodan Kadic

Dalic subbed off Petkovic for Kramaric in the 69th minute. Barasic went on for Gvardiol in the 70th. 

Kovacic shot at the keeper in the 74th minute but Croatia continued to attack. 

Vlasic came out for Luka Ivanusec in the 75th minute. 

A sequence of two Croatia corners brought incredible luck. Modric crossed into the box which touched the top of Perisic's head for 3:1 Croatia in the 77th minute!!

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Slobodan Kadic

A Croatia corner in the final minute of regulation time was played short to Kramaric. The ref added 4 minutes to the end of the game.  

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Slobodan Kadic

A Scotland corner in the final two minutes was unsuccessful. Croatia finished 2nd in Group D for a spot in the round of 16!!!!!!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Monday, 21 June 2021

Dalić and Perišić Talk Croatia ahead of Scotland, Billy Gilmour Positive COVID-19 Result

June 21, 2021 - Coach Zlatko Dalić and vice-captain Ivan Perišić addressed the press to speak about Croatia ahead of Scotland on Tuesday. 

The Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalić and vice-captain Ivan Perišić addressed the press the day before the decisive match for a spot in the EURO 2020 round of 16. 

After losing to England (0:1) and drawing to the Czech Republic (1:1), Croatia will face Scotland on Tuesday at Hampden Park. The stakes are high; for both teams, the victory brings the round of 16. 

 

It was announced this morning that Billy Gilmour tested positive for COVID-19. This hurts Scotland considerably, but does it change anything for Croatia?

"The rules are the same for everyone; we have to concentrate on ourselves and our victory; the rest is irrelevant. Some play at home; some can’t even have fans on away pitches. We have to get together and try to get through the group. There is no fear for tomorrow," said Ivan Perišić.

"It is not easy for any national team when they lose an important player. Scotland has a solution, they will be ready for us; they play in front of their fans, but we are concentrated on us, and a lot will depend on us," added Perišić.

How does Zlatko Dalić see the situation?

"Before the Euros, we knew that the third game would be decisive. This is the last chance we have to advance. That was the goal, and we must do everything to achieve it," said Dalić.

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour tested positive and has to go into ten days of isolation, but not the whole team. Dalić believes that his absence will not weaken Scotland much, but he also adds that Croatia is damaged because they are playing without its fans.

"We are damaged around this situation; we are certainly stronger with the fans. We play against two hosts, and various things about the coronavirus have been surrounding us for a month. It will be very difficult; we are playing against an opponent who has the quality and who is motivated. We have to go out on the field as favorites. We must not lose patience; we must not lose our heads. Patience will be very important," added the coach.

"We travel every three days; these are not realistic conditions. I would not want Croatia to do something outside the field, but I think that the conditions must be the same for everyone, and they are not. But I want Gilmour to recover and everything to be resolved on the field."

Players are constantly being tested, and of course, there is the pressure of whether they will be positive.

"We are all under pressure about positive tests. We are all in psychological uncertainty that something will not happen and that someone will not be positive, so that we all go into isolation. I really wouldn’t want it all to expand; I hope there won’t be anything more. We are worried about COVID-19 in the Scotland national team, but we have to play that game."

Asked if any of his players had asked him not to play due to the positive result, Dalić said they had not yet been able to talk because they had just arrived.

"We just arrived in Glasgow, had lunch, and of course we'll talk. It is clear that everyone is in fear and uncertainty, but we have to play the game and focus on the game and forget the rest. Such is the situation throughout the championship. We are all negative and very careful, but you never know what might happen."

Is the absence of Gilmour a gain for Croatia?

"Every player is an absence for the team. Gilmour played well against England but entered that game as a reserve. Scotland has stronger players; I don't see that as a win for us. Scotland is a strong team, they play at home, and that one player who is not standard and will not play is not our advantage," added Dalić.

Source: HRT

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Saturday, 19 June 2021

Dalić Press Conferene: New Croatia Changes against Scotland Announced

June 19, 2021 - Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Rovinj after drawing 1:1 with the Czech Republic on Friday night in Glasgow. Croatia changes against Scotland, their opponent in the final group stage match on Tuesday, have been announced. 

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Rovinj one day after the draw against the Czech Republic in the second round of EURO 2020 and thus kept their chances of the round of 16.  

 

"Of course, I'm not happy and satisfied. I don't feel comfortable; it's not the Croatia I imagined and wanted. We are not playing well, but we got another chance to fix it in the last game of the group stage and move on with the victory. I am aware that this is not good, and this is not the Croatia I want," said Dalić.

In the last round, on Tuesday, June 22, Croatia will have to win against Scotland to compete for a place in the round of 16. The match will be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

"I will not look for the culprit, alibi; it is up to me that we are not good. We don’t look like we should; we’re not compact. Seven, eight players came to the gathering injured; we failed to sort ourselves out. We played a bad first half yesterday; the opponent was better. But they didn't give us a chance. The penalty was not for me; Lovren did not want to hit the player; he jumped like any defensive player. We also had the opportunity with Rebić. We were better in the second half, but not enough to win," Dalić explained.

The coach pointed out that Croatia is not at the level to fight among the last 16. 

"We did not impose ourselves at this Euro; it is not Croatia as it should be. We are not at the level, but we have a chance to repair; with the victory, we can go further," said Dalić.

"We were looking for the best solutions on the go. Someone always had some minor problem," said the Croatia coach.

"Scotland will be terribly aggressive and motivated. We weren't working on plays for no reason. We tried to get the best we saw in training."

Is the problem more in the physical or mental state?

"I think it's both. The opponent ran more than us yesterday, and that shows in the result. For us, the result is indispensable for everything to be arranged differently.  We can’t get into a normal rhythm without it. As for physical preparation, some players have problems that they came up with, but we didn’t solve them."

He also commented on Dejan Lovren's free kick.

"The day before, we practiced free kicks and his went in. Luka left it to him because he felt good. There is no logic for the stopper to shoot free kicks, but he did not do it on his own; Luka left it to him because he felt ready for it."

He said Scotland has the quality it has already shown at the Euros and will be difficult.

"Borna Barišić will start training today, and then we will see what condition he is in," said Dalic.

"My whole life is a struggle, but I believe in the boys that we still have the strength, spite, and pride to show and play a good game on Tuesday. They all wrote us off and crossed us off; that must be our motivation. I understand criticism and attacks, I don’t run away from it, but it’s not all lost. God has given us another chance."

Dalić announced changes to the team for Scotland.

"We will have to make two, three changes and find more energetic players for Scotland. I’m not changing because I’d like to change, but because I want the best. The only reason to replace Marcelo Brozovic for the Czech Republic is that I wanted more players on the offensive. He is definitely returning to the team," Dalić explained.

Nikola Vlašić did not start any game.

"Vlašić has been without games for the last month at his club. He comes from a knee injury, which is why he lost out in the preparations. We used him as another player from the bench. He was our best player in the qualifications; he did not lose his status and position. He had a complaint about his adductor, so he had to spare himself a little," said Dalić.

"Gvardiol has been playing left-back at Dinamo all year, maybe he is a stopper by profile, but he also brought some things yesterday. In my opinion, he plays well. I don't watch who is from which club; I watch training and what we need," said Dalić.

He also commented on Luka Modrić's game.

"Luka received the award for the best player of the match. He spent a lot in that position; it wasn't easy for him; maybe he made a mistake sometimes. He had a lot of demanding tasks, but he was the player of the match. He is ready and has no problems," Dalić concluded.

Source: HRT

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Saturday, 19 June 2021

EURO 2020: Victory for Croatia Against Scotland Imperative for Round of 16 Spot

June 19, 2021 - A victory for Croatia against Scotland is now imperative for 2nd or 3rd place in Group D. 

The second round of EURO 2020 Group D finished on Friday and Croatia currently sits in third place. After two draws on Friday, Croatia and the Czech Republic 1:1 and England and Scotland 0:0, the Czech Republic is in first, followed by England in second, Croatia in third, and Scotland in fourth, reports Gol.hr.

Croatia must beat Scotland on Tuesday if they want to go further and can no longer pass as the group winner. Finishing first in the group is not the best option, anyhow, as first place in Group D crosses over with the 'group of death' - Portugal, France, Germany, and Hungary.

Croatia's position will also depend on the second game in the group. Namely, if the Czech Republic and England play a draw in the last round, Croatia can only continue from third place, no matter how large the victory against Scotland. However, they will need a better goal difference to be placed among the best third-placed national teams.

If England wins minimally, Croatia must beat Scotland by three goals for second place, and any major England win will mean that Croatia needs a goal less to skip the Czech Republic. 

If they have the same goal difference as the Czech Republic, second place will go to the team that has fewer yellow and red cards.

If Croatia doesn't go as second place, it seems that being among the best third-placed national teams in the competition is a probable option.

It should be noted that Scotland can also win third place with a victory, so it will be an all-or-nothing match.

Second place in Group D crosses over with the second-placed team from Group E (Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia). If Croatia finishes third, they will play the winner of Group B (probably Belgium), the winner of Group E (Sweden or Spain), or the winner of Group C (Holland).

Theoretically, Croatia could go even further with a draw against Scotland, i.e. with only two points, but a lot has to coincide. Namely, Switzerland and Turkey have to draw in a direct clash for third place, Germany would have to lose to Portugal and still draw with Hungary in the end. 

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