Croatia has run out of title challenges but will leave the World Cup without complaints and with its head held high after losing 3-0 to Argentina in the semi-finals, coach Zlatko Dalic said.
A penalty from Lionel Messi and two goals from Julian Alvarez against the 2018 runner-up gave Argentina a ticket to the final, a defeat Dalic deemed “deserved.”
“I congratulate Argentina for reaching the final,” the 56-year-old said. “All we can do is put our stuff back together, raise our heads and go into the game for third place … Sometimes luck favors you, sometimes not. That’s the way it is. We have nothing to complain about.”
Croatia had most of the possession, but only two shots on goal, neither of which worried Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. Dalic lamented his team’s lack of mobility.
“We had a lot of good situations, but we weren’t deep … Especially in the attack, we were not concrete. We lacked that real attack to break through. We didn’t,” he said.
“When we conceded the third goal, it was very difficult to come back. It was a deserved defeat,” he added.
The coach noted, however, that having reached the semifinals was a source of pride for his team. “If someone had offered us this before the World Cup, we would have accepted it. It is a great success for the Croatian national team and we are proud.”