Needing a success over Russia to book their place in Qatar World Cup 2022, the 2018 runners-up got the three points they needed courteousness of a late own goal. Croatia, who fall behind Russia by two points heading into the decisive moment tie at the Stadion Poljud in Split, needed a success to demand a top spot in Group H and receive the only automatic place for Qatar World Cup.
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The 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up suitably collected all three points as a late Fedor Kudryashov own goal gave them a 1-0 over Russia, who will now bonce into the March playoffs. Croatia conquered a game played in heavy rain but a sequence of good saves by visiting goalkeeper Matvei Safonov and a sopping pitch kept them at bay before Kudryashov clumsy 80th-minute dash pleased the home fans.
Dalic Croatia Football World Cup team coach broke down in tears after the game has come under burden from fans and media during Croatia’s intermittent qualifying drive, and he was quick to applause his players and the fans. It is a release, it was a titanic struggle and I want to congratulate all the players who took part in these Qatar World Cup qualifiers, said Dalic. For more to know about Qatar World Cup Tickets Click here.
A big cheers to the fans too, from the bottom of my soul. You are our arrogance and energy. Hence, the crying, I do not cry very frequently but this triumph was one of the greatest sporting instants of my life. Every game in charge is blessed to me and what we attained here today is priceless. A draw to qualify, the Russians defended with everyone behind the ball and soaked up strong pressure as the Croatians overwhelmed their goal but failed to create clear-cut probabilities.
Luka Modric said Croatia earned their luck after keeping Russia on the back foot all over. It was a difficult game as we expected but we played a great game. We were a little lucky with the goal but we earned it because of how we pushed. We were patient and we believed until the end, he said. Now we have a year to prepare and improve for the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022.
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