Saint Petersburg, June 28 (AFP) Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has warned his players nobody will remember their blistering start to the World Cup if they lose to Denmark in the last 16 on Sunday. Also Read - Lionel Messi Ban: Barcelona Star Could be Suspended For 12 Games Following Red-Card in Spanish Super Cup Final
A 3-0 thrashing of Argentina came in between victories over Nigeria and Iceland in Group D as Dalic’s team sailed through to the knock-out stage with nine points out of nine. Also Read - Lionel Messi Could Face Ban After First Red Card in Club Football Career For Barcelona
But Croatia made a similarly impressive opening at Euro 2016, beating Spain to finish top of their group, only to tumble out to Portugal. Also Read - Lionel Messi Gets First-Ever Red Card in Club Football Career as Athletic Bilbao Edge Barcelona in Spanish Super Cup Final
“It’s all great for the history books in Croatia but if we don’t win against Denmark, when someone asks you what you did, what can you say? Nothing,” Dalic said on Wednesday.
“Our first goal for this World Cup was to pass the group stage but that doesn’t really satisfy myself or the team. We have Denmark against us now and that’s the moment of truth.” Denmark held France to a goalless draw on Tuesday to go through as runners-up in Group C and their key threat in Nizhny Novgorod will be star midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Eriksen provided the assist for Yussuf Poulsen’s winner against Peru and then opened the scoring with a superb strike in their draw against Australia.
“He is a really key player for Denmark,” Dalic said. “But we can’t really pay special attention just to him. We played similarly against Lionel Messi and Argentina.
“What is important is the whole team defends together, not just as individuals or the midfield player in his area. The whole team has to do it together.” AFP BS BS BS
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.