Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic believes his side were better “in all segments of the game” as they won their World Cup semi-final against England.
Gareth Southgate’s men opened the scoring at the Luzhniki Stadium, but it is the Vatreni that will return to take on France in Sunday’s showpiece finale.
Ivan Perisic drew Croatia level and Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 extra-time win to propel the country into their first World Cup final.
Asked why his side had won, Dalic said: “Because we were the better team in all segments of the game.
“We did not underestimate them. We respected them because we analysed them.
“We knew what they were doing and where.
“We played a high press on their backline. We closed down (John) Stones and (Jordan) Henderson. We nullified them.
“We let the centre-halves play. (Luka) Modric and (Ivan) Rakitic pressed their backline and we had the ball possession.
“During half-time, I told the players ‘calmly pass the ball, do not lose your heads’.
By Crimson Tazvinzwa