Croatian Zlatko Dalic promises his team ‘won’t make it’ to the quarter-finals | World Cup 2022

Zlatko Dalic said Croatia would never surrender and gave their people ‘faith in a better future’ after beating Japan in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup quarter-finals .

The 2018 finalists, and the smallest nation remaining in the tournament, prevailed 3-1 on penalties to deny Japan a first appearance in the last eight. Six of Croatia’s last seven games in the round of 16 of a major tournament have ended in extra time and their head coach has insisted it’s a mark of a resilient nation that should never be under estimated.

This is a World Cup like no other. For the last 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered on our dedicated Qatar: Beyond the Football home page for those who want to go deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.

Guardian reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

“,”image”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/48be60e8b3371ffecc4f784e0411526ed9f3f3ba/1700_1199_1330_1331/1330.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=8b3ad26c4ab238688c860e907b2cb116″,”credit”:”Photograph: Caspar Benson”,”pillar”:2}”>

Quick guide

Qatar: beyond football

Spectacle

It’s a World Cup like no other. For the past 12 years, the Guardian has reported on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is collected on our dedicated Qatar: Beyond the Football homepage for those who want to dig deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.

The goalkeepers’ reporting goes far beyond what is happening on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

Photography: Caspar Benson

Thank you for your opinion.

Dalic, speaking before Brazil were confirmed as Croatia’s quarter-final opponents on Friday, said: “We will wait for Brazil or Korea and we won’t surrender. We will continue to fight to achieve our dream. If it’s Brazil, let’s open the game, do our best and play hard.

“This generation is a resilient generation, they don’t give up and they reflect the spirit of the Croatian people who have gone through so much suffering. The Croatian national team brings so much pride and joy to our people. We give them faith in a better future.

“We are a new generation of Croatian footballers, 18 weren’t at the World Cup in Russia, and I told them: ‘This is your chance to make history.’ We did it and new players have their chance. I always say, don’t underestimate the Croatian people.

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu said his team could be proud of beating Spain and Germany and proving they belonged to the top flight at the World Cup.

However, he conceded: “We can’t do everything at once. We cannot become superheroes all at once. We have to improve step by step, but there is no doubt that Japan is reaching a level where we can play on the world stage and the individual players have also grown.

Japan froze in the shootout with Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitoma and Maya Yoshida all having shots on goal saved by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Moriyasu said: “I think it’s luck, but also practice. It’s both. In terms of reaching the target, there is still a gap between the top European teams and Japan.

“The Croatian goalkeeper was great today, but the Japanese players also need to be better on penalties. That’s something else we need to improve for the future.

Leave a Comment