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Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic: That penalty changed the game

Updated on: 15 December,2022 08:21 AM IST  |  Doha
Ashwin Ferro | ashwin.ferro@mid-day.com

Croatia coach Zlatko says wrongly-awarded penalty made the difference in Tuesday’s match, leading to a 3-0 victory for Argentina at Lusail Stadium

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic: That penalty changed the game

Argentina’s Julian Alvarez (right) is brought down by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic leading to a penalty during the World Cup semi-final at Lusail Stadium in Doha on Tuesday. PICS/Getty Images Zlatko Dalic

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic was obviously disappointed after his team’s 0-3 defeat to Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the first semi-final at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday night. But there was a tinge of frustration in his voice too while speaking about how Argentina got their opening goal. In the 34th minute, Argentine forward Julian Alvarez was running towards the Croatian goal before he crashed into custodian Dominik Livakovic. Italian referee Daniele Orsato had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Messi scored off the spot-kick.


Zlatko Dalic
Zlatko Dalic


Unfair call?


Dalic, though, felt it was a cheap giveaway. “We were supposed to be awarded a corner at the other end but the referee did not call it and off the counter-attack, they are awarded a penalty. The opposing player crashes into our goalkeeper and they get a penalty. He is defending our goal. I really don’t know what our goalkeeper was supposed to do. Move out of the way? If so then they should put it in the new rules,” Dalic said sarcastically at the post-match press conference.

Good start

Croatia had begun the match well, keeping ball possession and controlling the midfield which they are so good at. However, after conceding the opener, they took in another goal within the next five minutes (39th min) and the Argentines were on top throughout thereafter, adding a third in the second half (69th min).

Dalic blamed the first goal for changing the game’s fortunes in the opposition’s favour. “That goal took the match in a different direction. Before that, we had full control of the match, ball control. We had everything in our hands and the match was proceeding how we wanted it to. Look, I don’t want to argue about the referee’s decisions but that first goal decided the course of the match,” he added.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi ‘assists’ Argentina into final

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