Croatians in shock: Modric fears “disaster
Already at the opening match of the European Championship qualifying against Azerbaijan (2:1) Croatia had just missed an embarrassment. On Sunday, the runners-up World Champion followed with a 1:2 victory in Hungary. Luka Modric fears big problems.
Croatia had not lost a match against their neighbour Hungary since their independence in 1991. Sunday was the day in Budapest. The Magyars defeated the runners-up 2-1 in front of euphoric fans and equalled the favourites on Group E points. Adam Szalai of Hoffenheim and Mate Patkai (Vidi FC) turned the tables on Frankfurt’s Ante Rebic after being trailing early.
The Croatians were left behind in dismay. World footballer Modric spoke of a “shock” and even feared a miss of the upcoming European Championship. “If we go on like this, we’ll have big problems qualifying for the tournament – which would be a disaster,” said the 33-year-old Real Madrid midfield star.
“Everything was terrible”
The media in the home country harshly criticized the performance of the team coach Zlatko Dalic. The sports daily “Sportske novosti” wrote that “everything in the Groupama Arena was terrible”. Above all Aston Villa goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic and inter-professional Ivan Perisic stand in the crossfire of critics.
Dalic didn’t want to make any individual criticism, but admitted: “Some players aren’t in competition rhythm, others aren’t in shape. He denied the question of whether his team had underestimated Hungary. “We have respect for every opponent, but it just didn’t work out,” added the 52-year-old, who will play Wales with his team on 8 June. After two games, the Croats are on equal footing with Slovakia, Hungary and their next opponents with three points, currently ranked third in Group E. Only Underdog Azerbaijan are still without points.