Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Croatia have been 'underestimated', says coach Dalic

Croatia have been 'underestimated', says coach Dalic

"Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years".

Along with its sporting achievements, the Croatian team has offered other talking points through a number of controversies surrounding players, a coach, and the national football federation.

Set pieces have been the main source of goals at the tournament in Russian Federation - 42 percent, no less - and England has been the master of that department on its run to Wedneday's semifinal match against Croatia.

France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan.

But if Modric can rouse himself to control another match against England, they have every chance.

"We are four million people, four million coaches and four million players".

"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said.

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They have made it to a World Cup semifinal for the first time after 1990, while this is Croatia's second one-the first being their astonishing debut in 1998.

"They play very direct football, dangerous, fast, and they are really good at setpieces, and dangerous at corner kicks".

Six charter flights carrying more than 1,000 fans left the capital Zagreb for Moscow late yesterday and today, national flag carrier Croatia Airlines said.

Now, finally, there is a team ready to join them in Croatian football's pantheon of heroes. Two of Croatia's more prominent squad members, captain Luka Modric and Liverpool player Dejan Lovren, have been closely linked to the corruption charges and investigation. "We have everything needed to do that, a great team, great staff and I hope we will make the extra step", he said.

"Holding the ball up, tirelessly stretching defenses into submission and making intelligent runs either onto throughballs or to open up space for Croatia's craftsmen are all caveats to Mandzukic's game".

Police officers and fans watch the broadcast of the World Cup quarter-final match between Russia and Croatia in central Saint Petersburg, Russia July 7, 2018.

You would have to go a decade back to see when a Russian club last won a European club football title. "But I am sure one of us will find a way to surprise him".

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