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Niko Kovač Happy With Come From Behind Draw With Switzerland

CroatiaCroatia head coach Niko Kovač wasn’t satisfied with his team’s first half performance against Switzerland in St. Gallen on Wednesday night, but the second 45 minutes brought a smile to his face…

Croatia and Switzerland played out a 2:2 draw in their international friendly as they both kicked off their preparation for the World Cup in Brazil in three months time. Switzerland, who are ranked 6th in the world, had the upper hand in the first half, going into the break 2:1 up, but  Croatia created more chances in the second thanks to the introduction of playmaker Luka Modrić and made it 2-2 early in the second spell  when Ivica Olić scored his second goal of the night.

“In the first half we lacked aggression and passion, we did not play direct and dangerous football. The attitude was different from what I demanded. Things have turned in the second half, when Croatia started to play the way we want to and had many opportunities to score. The final result is fair, both teams can be satisfied”, said Kovač, before adding.

“Subašić was very good between the posts, he was not nervous and could not do anything to prevent Switzerland’s goals. I am satisfied with Maleš as well, he did his job in defence. Jelavić had no chance to prove himself since the opportunities were virtually non-existent before the break. We agreed to let Modrić and Mandžukić play 30 to 45 minutes, and the circumstances were such that I had to bring Mandžukić on at halftime”, explained Kovač.

“I can not be satisfied with everything we have allowed to our opponent in the first half, we failed to close down the midfield. We have to act differently against Brazil. The defence begins with the strikers, as we have done against Iceland in November”, he added, before commenting on Switzerland’s Croatian goal scorer.

“Drmić has brilliant potential, I regret that he does not play for Croatia. However, I congratulate him and I am happy for the boy”, said Kovač.

Kovač also apologized to the Swiss supporters and his hosts: “I apologize for the way some of our supporters behaved. We have been very nicely received in Switzerland and we have to respond in a civilized manner”. (HNS)

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