Speaking after Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Belgium that took Zlatko Dalić’s side into the last 16 at the World Cup, Croatian defender Joško Gvardiol, whose impressive defending helped preserve a clean sheet, said he wants the team to live up to their run to the final in 2018. The 20-year-old explained:
“At the end of the match there was a bit of concern and panic but we can be happy that we made it and that they didn’t take their chances. In the first half, we showed that we are better, we dominated those 45 minutes – we had chances, especially Perišić right at the beginning, which we didn’t take. Towards the end of the match they squeezed us a bit, of course, a little nervousness creeps in but, if you want to be the best, you have to deal with it. I always give the maximum for this shirt and Croatia, I try to get better in every game. As I said before we started this tournament – we are defending silver from Russia and we want to be up to that task.”
Croatia will now face Japan in the last 16 on Monday.