Answering questions at his press conference following the 0-0 draw with Belgium that took Croatia into the last 16, Croatian coach Zlatko Dalić explained that he and his team were not getting ahead of themselves as expectations rise for the 2018 runners up. Dalić said:
“It was a great 98 minutes. Control, defence, attack, everything was top notch. We had two or three situations that could have been fatal, but we can’t expect Belgium not to create those opportunities, especially in the last 15 minutes… We must be calm and modest and look for what is most important to us, which is the next game. We’ve taken one step and are moving on. I will repeat my story from 2018 when we were first in our group with nine points before playing Denmark in the last 16 – If we’d lost, we would have been losers and nobody would have remembered what happened in the group. We will not make any big proclamations, we will just try to win the game against Japan.”
Croatia face Japan in the last 16 on Monday in Qatar.