Croatia captain Luka Modric, who was held to a goalless draw by Morocco in their Group F World Cup match on Wednesday, downplayed his team’s high expectations by saying they need to take it one step at a time. “Morocco is a difficult opponent, they are difficult and difficult to play against,” said Player of the Match Modric. “We had a great defense today and didn’t let them get close.”
_ Appearing on the big stage and pulling the strings for his country.
__ The Croatian football icon never ages, he just gets better. Luka Modric is your @Budweiser Player of the match! #POTM #YoursToTake #Budweiser @budfootball pic.twitter.com/QEKBcKrhaO— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 23, 2022
Runners-up in Russia’s 2018 World Cup, Croatia came to Qatar as one of the favourites, but Modric insisted their first and main focus right now is on the remaining two group matches, Xinhua reports.
“Prior to the 2018 World Cup, our ambition was to get past the group. That’s the same thing now,” he added. “But we would be a dangerous opponent if we passed the group.” Head coach Zlatko Dalic also declined to make a comparison between today’s team and that of four years ago, as it is now “a new national team with a lot of new players”.
“We are not completely satisfied with today’s result. We had control and possession, but we didn’t create enough decisive chances or didn’t go forward as we wanted,” said Dalic. “Morocco was an opponent that was compact and well prepared for us. They waited for us to make mistakes and used our weaknesses,” he added. “They were faster than us in some cases, so we were afraid of their counter-attacks. We lacked a bit of courage. But we will continue and we will fight until the last minute.”