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FIFA WC: Croatia has no fear of any opponent

December 02, 2022 02:35 IST
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Croatia's Luka Modric and Josko Gvardiol celebrate after the match as Croatia qualify for the knockout stages

IMAGE: Croatia's Luka Modric and Josko Gvardiol celebrate after the match as Croatia qualify for the knockout stages. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

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 could face Spain, Japan, Germany or Costa Rica in the next round, 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.

A potentially mouth-watering clash awaits against Spain, who topped the Group E standings after two games.

"We will see. Spain has a match to play," Dalic said.

"They are the favourites (in their group). It's a great team with a great coach and great young players."

"We lost to them at the last European Championship. We will prepare for them, but the most important thing is to get some rest.

"It doesn't matter which team we face, if we play at this level we fear no one."

Dalic said his team had tried their best to beat Belgium.

"We wanted to win. We knew the result of Canada and Morocco," he added.

"We made no calculations about our match but Belgium is a top-notch team. We didn't want just one point, we wanted to win."

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