AL RAYYAN, December 12
Croatia are hoping Argentina’s bad-tempered World Cup quarterfinal qualification over Netherlands with 16 yellow cards and one red will not spill over into tomorrow’s semifinal, coach Zlatko Dalic said today.
For me the semifinal match against England was the greatest match of all time. The Brazil game (in the quarter-finals in Qatar) comes second and tomorrow’s match would be third on that list. But if we win tomorrow it would make it the greatest Croatian match of all time — Zlatko Dalic, Croatia coach
The Argentines eventually prevailed on penalties after squandering a two-goal lead but the game was marred by disciplinary violations from both sides throughout.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi exchanged words with Dutch coach Louis van Gaal following the final whistle and called a Dutch player ‘a fool’.
Croatia, runners-up in 2018, have gotten their own taste of Argentine temper in the past following their group stage win over them at the 2018 World Cup with then-Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli refusing to shake Dalic’s hand.
But Dalic, whose team beat tournament favourites Brazil also on penalties to advance to the last-four for the second World Cup in a row, said he bore no grudges.
“I understand the actors involved and the expectations were high back then (in 2018). It happens and we shall not hold any grudges,” Dalic said. “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.” — Reuters
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