After the victory over England (2:1 in extra time, the main – 1:1) in Moscow in the semifinal of the 2018 world Cup, which was held on July 11, and the final (on 15 July) to the questions of journalists, including special correspondent “MK”, said the chief coach of Croatian team Zlatko Dalic. And, of course, steering the British Gareth Southgate.
The Luzhniki stadium. Before the game…
…First word loser.
– What happened? – dare to directly ask the head coach of the England Gareth Southgate. – Like in the first half, your boys controlled the game confidently. Scored a goal, it might be a couple more. And after the break, the British seemed to have changed… Is psychology? Too believe that in the final? Or the opposite – afraid that the finale desperately close?
Well look in the first half we played really well. Powerful. Controlled the game, as you said? But… When you control – it is necessary to score more. And in the second half, almost everything changed. Maybe it’s because we have a much less experienced team than Croatia… Maybe you are right – too pressed is: closeness of victory and the final – I mean. Subconsciously, but pressed!.. And when you get to this level, small details play a role. Well, among other things, the Croatians – great players. We are unable to respond to the missed in overtime the ball, alas.
But it was in such great matches, experience which we lacked the players get older. I would say – become stronger. And then, believe me, everything will be even better.
– Due to what? How to fix the situation?
To work, wearily exhales Gareth. – Corny, but true.
– What’s said in the locker room the guys after the match?
– Yes, there is nothing could say! The disappointment is too great – with one hand. On the other hand: did the fans before the start of the season thought that we will be in the semifinals? No. How many never have? 28 years! This is not the limit, right?
– At first English team really looked great – no dispute winning coach Zlatko Dalic. But in this championship all wrong for someone to be considered the favorite. Either before the game or during… And before the finale, too, by the way. France, many have almost champion announced. Wait! Yes, a strong team. But remember: before meeting in the semifinals of almost all so-called experts believed that Belgium will pass it. Well, where are these experts? Prompt?
20 years ago, on 8 July 1998, Croatia lost to France in the world Cup semi-final at the “Stade de France” – 1:2. Do you remember that game?
Not only the match, but the championship – I remember well. 1998 – perfect time: I’m young… of Course I went then to France. For the first three games. A simple fan. Despite the fact that I was in that time player. Current. That’s why I had to return to the club after the group stage. Training has not been canceled… In Croatia everybody remembers that game. And in response to Thuram’s goal Suker scored for us twice… debating this for the past 20 years. Someone says: but if we hadn’t went on the defensive – they would not leveled… Maybe God gives a chance to get even?
– See what are the cons of the French team?
– Weaknesses of the French there.
– Well… Then Vice versa: what are the disadvantages of Croatia, the opponent can use it? That’s such a weak 1st half – France do not forgive…
– About “weak”. I our game a little bit different saw… We controlled the ball, we were pushing the British their will. Otherwise would not have won. Sconza and Henderson according to the plan, we closed. At all. Rakitic, Modric and others are constantly pressuring their defence. I told the team before the game: “it’s Important not to lose your head. Motivation crazy, Yes… But just play football with pleasure!”
– Russian podium were booed defender domagoj Vida after his scandalous video. Not held a conversation with him? Not advised not to meddle in politics?
– I only heard, as almost in unison the whole stadium was supporting Croatia. Our fans definitely win in this match English. And politics do not want to discuss, sorry.
Three times in 120 minutes you played after the group stage. Consider a whole extra match (if 3Х30 minutes to consider). But the French are not so tired, it turns out. Yes another day of rest at them too much. Unfair?
– So, as you said. But I don’t think we should whine about it. Still need to score to avoid overtime… you just Need to get together – and play like it’s the first game of the season.
– How your team enough physically?..
– A good question. Very good. Sometimes I wonder myself! Wanted replacement make. Two players virtually on one leg… So they all began to beg: “don’t replace! Please… I Have power!”
Just power or will power? I think the second is more accurate. Tell me then, where this will come from?
– How? Just Croatia is a country of proud people…
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