World Cup: Croatia can’t win ‘without drama’, says Luka Modric

World Cup: Croatia can’t win ‘without drama’, says Luka Modric
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Croatia captain Luka Modric said his team “can’t do it without a drama” after they reached the World Cup quarter-finals following a penalty shootout win against Japan on Monday.

Mario Pasalic struck the winning spot-kick after Dominik Livakovic saved three penalties.

Earlier, Ivan Perisic had pulled Croatia level in the 55th minute of normal time following Daizen Maeda’s opener for Japan just before the break.

But no side could find a winner either in 90 minutes or in extra time.

“It seems that we can’t do it without a drama,” said Modric, whose team were beaten finalists in 2018. “We are more than happy to reach the quarter-finals.

“It was a very difficult game against a very tough team.”

The match in Qatar continues a pattern for Croatia.

Six of their past seven knockout games at major tournaments have gone to extra time, the only exception being their final defeat by France in Russia four years ago.

Modric said Croatia had not played at their top level but had found a way to win.

“We showed character when we came back from the deficit… Livi (Livakovic) performed a miracle today. A very tough, exhausting match.”

Coach Zlatko Dalic said reaching the last eight was a “major result”.

“Don’t ever underestimate a Croatian,” he added. “Whenever this happens, one regrets it. We are going all the way.”


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