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Final place delights Skorovich as Croatia reflect

Published: Friday 10 February 2012, 0.53CET
Sergei Skorovich was happy "not to play beautifully and to win" after Russia's semi-final defeat of Croatia, who were still proud of what they did for a record 14,300 crowd in Zagreb.
by Wayne Harrison, Dmitri Slotin & Elvir Islamović
from Arena Zagreb
Final place delights Skorovich as Croatia reflect
Post-celebrations for Russia goalkeeper Gustavo ©Action Images
 

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Published: Friday 10 February 2012, 0.53CET

Final place delights Skorovich as Croatia reflect

Sergei Skorovich was happy "not to play beautifully and to win" after Russia's semi-final defeat of Croatia, who were still proud of what they did for a record 14,300 crowd in Zagreb.

Sergei Skorovich, Russia coach
I'm happy because we undertook a big job preparing for the tournament and now we're in the final. We won't stop now and will do our best in the next game. We wanted to play excellent futsal from the off to show we were stronger than Croatia. We were lucky to score in the first minute − it's very important to do so in this type of game.

A coach is always happy when his team reach the final − it's better not to play beautifully and to win
Sergei Skorovich, Russia coach
All of the fans like us after what we've done − it doesn't matter what the score is on Saturday
Mato Stanković, Croatia coach
We showed in the second half that we can play against a powerful Russia
Dario Marinović, Croatia forward
When we were down 4-0 it wasn't easy − we thought they were going to crush us
Jakov Grcić, Croatia defender

The game was very difficult. Croatia hit the post a few times in the closing stages and had some chances to score another goal. A coach is always happy when his team reach the final − it's better not to play beautifully and to win. Konstantin Maevski is not young, he was a little tired. We understood that if we reached the final we would need him, so we decided to give him a rest.

As for Gustavo, he played well [in the 2-2 group draw] against Italy. Two of our goalkeepers are strong, so sometimes we have a difficult choice. We expected to come under pressure in the closing stages because of the crowd. A team always give it their best in the last moments. We were nervous, of course, but we tried to stay calm.

Ildar Nugumanov, Russia forward
At the beginning we not only wanted to score a quick goal but also to completely outplay them to silence the crowd. We managed to do so, so the game plan worked really well.

Mato Stanković, Croatia coach
The two early goals were key to our loss. We are very proud so many people are coming to see us. Russia are a very good team and I have to say that, although they are better, my players played very well. We were unlucky at certain moments.

I'm proud of all our matches, not only this one. The first five minutes weren't good but other parts of the game were. All of the fans like us after what we've done − it doesn't matter what the score is on Saturday [against Italy].

Dario Marinović, Croatia double goalscorer
We started the match like we were a little afraid. They are a top team and knew how to punish our every mistake. We were 4-0 down and at that moment we were afraid of what might happen between then and the end of the game. We managed to come back and we found the strength to be a worthy opponent; it didn't look too bad in the latter part of the match. In the end we can be satisfied, as can our fans. We showed in the second half that we can play against a powerful Russia.

My back was hurting me all day. The physios did everything to get me ready for the match and I want to thank them for their help. I received a few injections, it was hurting a bit during the match as well, but I wanted to play so much. I don't think I disappointed the fans.

Jakov Grcić, Croatia defender
Our bad start was decisive. When we were down 4-0 it wasn't easy − we thought they were going to crush us. In the second half we managed to pull something out and be equal to Russia in some parts of the game. It was a fantastic atmosphere and it's a really special feeling when you hear 15,000 fans supporting you.

We tried to do something late in the match, we got two goals back, but we didn't have any luck to score the third. It would have been very interesting had we managed to get within a goal of them. However, despite this loss we've enjoyed great success. It's incredible for Croatian futsal.

Last updated: 10/02/12 16.42CET

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