Lusail [Qatar], December 13
Croatia boss Dalic Zlatko said he wants the semi-final against Argentina to be a more peaceful affair than the South American country's match against the Netherlands and the stakes are high for both teams as a spot in the final is for the taking.
By defeating tournament favourites Brazil on penalties, Croatia stunned many people and set up a clash with Lionel Messi's Argentina. The Netherlands were defeated by Lionel Scaloni's team on penalties following a tense 2-2 draw in which a record-breaking 18 yellow cards were shown. Tuesday's event should be less combative, according to Dalic.
"I don't get angry at anyone in an emotional state of mind. Argentina against Netherlands was also quite feisty and difficult with many non-football-related behaviours. I really hope this will not be the case tomorrow," speaking in a pre-match press conference, Dalic said.
"Tomorrow's match is a great match for Argentina as well as us. The stakes are high for both and a spot in the final is at stake," he added.
With the two sides meeting in the group stages of the 2018 tournament, this fixture has a history of temper tantrums. Then-Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli refused to shake Dalic's hand after the final whistle as Croatia won the game 3-0 to advance to the final.
The 56-year-old was asked about that, too, and said: "I understand the actors involved and the expectations were high back then [in 2018]. It happens and we shall not hold any grudges." Dalic's only attention will be on planning a path for his Croatian team to another final, regardless of the rumours surrounding the match and possible strategies for how it might be played. If they succeed, they might be able to replay 2018 final if France defeats Morocco.
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