EDUCATION CITY, Qatar — Croatia have been in a position to battle again and stun Brazil of their World Cup quarterfinal as a result of they’ve been “raised as fighters,” based on goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
Livakovic put in a man-of-the-match efficiency with 10 saves throughout the 120 minutes earlier than additionally stopping Rodrygo‘s penalty within the shootout.
Croatia wanted an equaliser within the 116th-minute to power penalties and afterwards Livakovic praised the spirit proven in securing a second consecutive World Cup semifinal. “We’re fighters and we performed our hearts out,” he stated.
“We’re completely satisfied about it however we’re taking part in one match at a time and we’ll see the place it takes us. We’re skilled and we’re raised as fighters. We spare no effort.”
“It is one in every of our best wins,” stated coach Zlatko Dalic, whose group will now face Argentina or the Netherlands within the semifinals.
“We demonstrated what it means to by no means give up and demonstrated what Croatia is and what a Croatia group is. We’re a small nation and received towards one of many favourites on the World Cup.
“They’re nice fighters and solely Croats can try this. Now we’re in one other semifinal and we will not give up. Croatia has proven one thing that not many groups can present.”
Eight of Croatia’s final 9 knockout video games at main tournaments have now gone to further time — a run stretching again to Euro 2008.
They’ve solely received one recreation in Qatar in regular time however have booked their place within the semifinals having reached the ultimate in 2018, the place they have been crushed by France.
“Now we have very robust character and do not hand over,” added Dalic.
“I consider solely groups with nice and powerful character can come again and it is develop into regular for us. Power of character is part of our group.
“I’m fairly clear that persons are being stunned by our efficiency for a second time in a row, it’s such an exceptional factor.
“I wished to move the group stage and take it one step at a time and we wished to indicate persistence. Now we’re within the semifinals, it’s not regular.
“Now we have confidence in ourselves. Croatia is a shock certainly however this could have develop into much less shocking.”