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Kovač: “Hard Work Paid Off, Win Gives us Belief”

CroatiaCroatia head coach Niko Kovač had a number of reasons to be satisfied after his side convincingly beat a poor, 10-man Cameroon side last night in testing conditions in the jungle…

Last night’s 4-0 win over Cameroon meant Croatia bagged a much-needed three points in Manaus, and now sets up a showdown with Mexico on Monday.

“Congratulations to my players, they did most of the work, especially considering the demanding weather conditions. Croatia has shown its true face after an unfortunate defeat against Brazil. That match has given us strength and belief”, said Croatia head coach Niko Kovač following the final whistle.

“There is no reason to celebrate now, we have plenty of work to do. This team has the ability to play against the best teams, and we have to show that against the Mexicans. That match is another final for us”, continued Kovač, saying that whilst Mexico were a strong side, so are the Croatians. Kovač says that Mexico can be dangerous up front, but also can be vulnerable at the back.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandžukić, starting his first match in Brazil, continued his goal scoring form.

“Mandžukić is a great goalscorer with an attitude that lifts the entire team. He has proved what Croatia can gain with him on board. I am delighted to be here with all of my players, we owe this success to our hard work”, he concluded.

“Give credit to my team, not to me. Everybody has played brilliantly. My goals are just the reward. We have done everything the coach has asked of us, and we are happy, knowing that we can play even better”, said Mandžukić. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

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