The job is not done yet: Dalic

ZAGREB • Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has warned his side against overconfidence ahead of tomorrow's World Cup play-off second-leg clash with Greece in Athens.

The Balkan nation produced the most impressive qualifying performance of this campaign to record a 4-1 home win on Thursday.

"We must root out any complacency immediately and head to Greece as if the score was 0-0," said Dalic after his second game in charge since taking over from Ante Cacic.

"The basic idea was to raid them on both flanks and the strategy worked."

Striker Nikola Kalinic, standing in for the injured Mario Mandzukic, won a penalty for Croatia's opener, scored by captain Luka Modric. He then netted the second, latching on to a cross by left-back Ivan Strinic.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos pulled one back for Greece but Ivan Perisic made it 3-1 with a close-range header following a cross by right-back Sime Vrsaljko.

Andrej Kramaric scored Croatia's fourth in the 49th minute, poking the ball in from two metres after Vrsaljko had cut out a poor back pass.

"It was a great match," Dalic said.

"But this is only the first half, we should not relax. Nothing is over."

Greece had conceded just six goals in this qualifying campaign before arriving at the Maksimir Stadium. And Papastathopoulos said the uncharacteristic performance made for a horrible night.

"We made unbelievable mistakes, conceded too many goals which is not typical of us at all," he said.

"It's practically 90 per cent likely that we will not go to the World Cup. Of course, we will fight on Sunday but we also have to be realistic."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'The job is not done yet: Dalic'. Subscribe