Croatia fear no team in knockout stages, says Modric

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Croatia will approach the World Cup knockout stages with no fear because they have the ability to make life difficult for any opponent, captain Luka Modric said on Thursday after his side sealed second place in Group F with a 0-0 draw against Belgium

The 2018 World Cup runners-up, who face Japan in the last 16, did well to blunt a Belgian attack bristling with talent and consign their European rivals to an early exit.

“I think we deserved to win. Today we had a really difficult match,” Modric told reporters.

“It’s very important that we are in the round of 16. I don’t have any preferences for the next round. Whoever our opponent, is we will give our best.

“We will fight, we will try to spare no effort whether it’s Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, or Germany. All will be difficult but they will also have a difficult time against Croatia.”

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic admitted his team rode their luck against Belgium but said he was pleased with the way they controlled the match for large stretches.

“We were great, especially in the first half hour or so. We had many chances, but it’s to be expected that Belgium would also have chances and we were lucky they didn’t take any of them,” he said.

Dalic said the tournament had thrown up plenty of surprises and predicted there could be more to come because of the World Cup being moved from its usual spot in June and July to mid-November to avoid the worst of the intense summer heat in Qatar.

via Reuters

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