Kuala Lumpur Post


Croatia have no complaints after World Cup exit

LUSAIL  — Croatia will leave the World Cup with no complaints and their heads held high after being beaten 3-0 by Argentina in the semi-finals, coach Zlatko Dalic said.

A Lionel Messi penalty and two goals by Julian Alvarez sent Argentina through at the expense of the 2018 runners-up and Dalic said his team had suffered a “deserved defeat”.

“I congratulate Argentina on reaching the final,” the 56-year-old said. “All we can do is pull ourselves together, raise our heads and go to the match for third place.

“Sometimes luck favours you, sometimes not. That’s the way it is.

“We have nothing to complain about.”

Croatia had the lion’s share of possession but just two shots on target, neither of which unduly troubled Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez.

Dalic was left to rue his team’s lack of cutting edge.

“We had a lot of good situations, but we weren’t mobile,” he added. “Especially in the attacking phase, we weren’t concrete. We lacked that one real attacker to break through. We didn’t do it.

“We know what we are and what we’re not. That’s it.

“When we conceded the third goal, it was really difficult to come back. It was a deserved defeat.

“If someone had offered us this before the World Cup, we would have accepted it, this is a great success for the Croatian national team and we are proud.” — Reuters