RIJEKA, 16 November 2019 – Zlatko Dalić became the first Croatia coach since Miroslav Blažević to led a side to Euro qualification after World Cup qualification on Saturday night when his side came from behind to beat Slovakia in Rijeka tonight.
“Pride and joy! Congratulations to my guys on the victory and for being first in the group. I have to emphasise this – Croatia dedicates this first place to Škabrnja and Vukovar!,” Dalić said after the 3-1 win.
On 18 November, the nation will remember the 28th anniversary of suffering and tragedy of Vukovar and Škabrnja.
Croatia went into the break 0-1 down, but Dalić says he was not too worried.
“I was not worried after the first half, we created a lot of chances. I just said that we can not lose our heads and not to rush. We were thin down the flanks, but as as soon as we scored, everything came into place. Thanks everyone, all my staff, players and everyone who supported us. I want to thank all fans who lived for us and if God is willing, see you soon,” Dalić said.
Croatia’s comeback was started by the impressive Nikola Vlašić and was rounded off by Bayern Munich winger Ivan Perišić after Bruno Petković put Croatia ahead with a header.
“My goals after the World Cup were that Croatia plays in Split and that we qualify for the European Championship, and I realised those. I am going with Croatia to the European Championship and there is no amount of money that can pay for that feeling. I am enjoying the best days of my sporting life, enjoying with the Croatian people,” he added.
Today’s match marked an impressive debut for Dinamo Zagreb defender Dino Perić.
“Our young players are playing as good as the veterans, we have young strength and today you could not notice they were new players. If I am not wrong, this is the best qualification we have had after 2008. Always with us we create nerves and some pressure, but that is normal. It is important that we got the result and qualified for Euro,” Dalić concluded.