For­get past wins, says Dalic as Danes await

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - Sport -

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.

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 knock­out stage.

But Croa­tia made a sim­i­larly im­pres­sive open­ing at Euro 2016, beat­ing Spain to fin­ish top of their group, only to tum­ble out to Por­tu­gal.

“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 re­ally is a key player for Den­mark,” Dalic said.

“But we can’t 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

PIC­TURE: GETTY IM­AGES

COM­PLETE FO­CUS: Croa­tia coach Zlatko Dalic.

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