15:26 / 23.06.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Croatia advances to round of 16 at European Championship

Croatian national football team

Croatian national football team

Foto: Luka Stanzl / Pixsell

Croatia advanced to the Last 16 knockout stage of the European Football Championships after beating Scotland 3-1 in the final group match in Glasgow on Tuesday evening.

The scorers for Croatia were Nikola Vlašić, captain Luka Modrić, and veteran Ivan Perišić, while Callum McGregor scored for Scotland in just before the half.

England came out on top of Group D, defeating the Czech Republic 1-0, while Croatia finished second despite only one win after three matches. England, Croatia and the third placed Czech Republic proceed to the knockout stages, while Scotland dropped out of the competition.

Coach Zlatko Dalić said following the game that the team had to be ready for the next game. He added that the team had fulfilled their first goal by advancing to the next round, but it did not mean that they had satisfied their ambitions.

"This match gave us the ability to believe that we can achieve what we set out to do. I would like to congratulate the players once again. Kudos to the whole team and staff, because they did a lot of work. I never once lost faith in our ability to do something special. It was difficult, but I always knew that we could move on. It's a little easier for all of us now," he said.

Upon returning to their team headquarters in Rovinj, coach Dalić commented on the unity of the team following several changes to the lineup during the group stage. He said that there were several players that were unsatisfied with their role but denied reports of a division in the locker room.

"Those reports are all untrue. But, yes, there are those who are dissatisfied. I respect that and they should be dissatisfied. As a player you can't be happy if you’re sitting on the bench, you have to be dissatisfied. I understand and support that. A player who is happy to not be playing is someone you don't want on the team. They have the right to be upset. We are running a tight rotation now. We have meetings every day and we talk, hang out and know what our goal is. But at the same time I can’t make 26 people happy," he said.

Croatia will play their first game in the round of 16 on Monday at 6 pm at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, against the second placed team from group E (Slovakia, Spain, Poland, Sweden).

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