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Draw a godsend for ambitious Croatia

Published: Thursday 14 June 2012, 21.58CET
"The most important thing is that we haven't lost," said defender Vedran Ćorluka after Croatia snatched a 1-1 draw against Italy, with Darijo Srna "certain we can qualify".
Draw a godsend for ambitious Croatia
Mario Mandžukić (front) struck his third goal in two games to rescue a point for Croatia ©Getty Images
 
Published: Thursday 14 June 2012, 21.58CET

Draw a godsend for ambitious Croatia

"The most important thing is that we haven't lost," said defender Vedran Ćorluka after Croatia snatched a 1-1 draw against Italy, with Darijo Srna "certain we can qualify".

The overriding feeling in the Croatia camp was one of satisfaction after they put behind them a first half in which they were often second best by hitting back to earn a draw after the break. UEFA.com rounds up the best of the players' reaction.

Bilić told us the first half was not good enough. We were poor positionally and the tactics were changed – in the second half we improved
Vedran Ćorluka
Spain are also a team made of flesh and blood. Croatia are dangerous opponents for everybody, so that game will be very exciting
Darijo Srna
Italy are a fantastic team, but we showed in the second half we can play against them. We need to be satisfied with a draw after a match like this
Mario Mandžukić

Vedran Ćorluka, Croatia defender
[Coach Slaven] Bilić told us the first half was not good enough. We were poor positionally and the tactics were changed – in the second half we improved. It was a fair draw, but perhaps we missed a chance to score the winner. It was a good match where we competed well and the most important thing is that we haven't lost.

We had some problems, because we were two on two in defence at times in the first half, but were much better after that. We still hope to progress. No matter who we're playing against we're convinced that we'll be in the quarter-finals.

Darijo Srna, Croatia defender and captain
Maybe in the first half Italy were a little better, but in the second we played well, and showed good character and quality. The Italians barely created a good chance in the second half. We were persistent and attack-minded, playing two on two at the back, and with all that they didn't create any chances. I am really proud of everybody – all the players, the coaching staff – I am proud of how they all represented Croatia today.

We know we have class and have faith in ourselves. This is one of the hardest groups in the European Championship but we are certain we can qualify. Spain are also a team made of flesh and blood. Croatia are dangerous opponents for everybody, so that game will be very exciting.

Mario Mandžukić, Croatia forward
We didn't start well – we didn't play it like we wanted, but that happens sometimes. At half-time our coach made some tactical changes and we started to play much better. Italy are a fantastic team, but we showed in the second half we can play against them. We need to be satisfied with a draw after a match like this.

I scored again, but I said before the match it's not important who scores the goals. It is more important that the team play well and we get a good result. And we did. Now, we are facing Spain, another top-class team, but as we showed against Italy we can play against the best and will try to do the same against Spain.

Stipe Pletikosa, Croatia goalkeeper
It wasn't good in the first half – they put us under a lot of pressure and we needed to defend a lot. After we made some changes it was a different story in the second half. I made some important saves, especially in the first half, but I am preparing well for these matches and I am fit, but I need to thank my team-mates who also did a good job. Italy showed they are an excellent, very strong team.

Last updated: 20/06/12 3.57CET

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