Zlatko Dalic, the man who took Croatia to its first World Cup Final is confident that the Blazers will be ready for France in Sunday’s Russia 2018 final match saying “we will play as if this were the first game in this tournament.”
Dalic, who was appointed Croatia coach towards the end of their Russia 2018 qualifying campaign insisted tiredness will not be an issue for his perceived match rusty side when they face France in the World Cup final despite coming through extra time, for the third time, to beat England on Wednesday.
In the Wednesday second semi-final game, Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in Moscow, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the winner in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier’s free-kick opener.
The Croats appear tired and exhausted, would have played the equivalent of one match more than the French, only managed to fight on to the end of two hours of gripping football to take the country of just over four million people into the final for the first time.
Croatia became the first country in the history of the World Cup to have made it to the final after going to extra-time in all three prior knockout rounds.
The closest to it was England, which won two extra-time matches in 1990 before losing on penalties to West Germany in the semi-finals.