UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Tears for Croatia hero Capar

"I cried after the game like a baby," Matija Capar told UEFA.com; Croatia's flying keeper secured a 3-3 draw against shell-shocked Spain, and Mato Stanković explained the key tactic.

Tears for Croatia hero Capar
Tears for Croatia hero Capar ©UEFA.com

Matija Capar, Croatia flying goalkeeper
I feel very good! I cried after the game like a baby because I had two bad injuries two years ago and I didn't think I would play futsal again. Now I scored against Spain, to get a 3-3 draw, all emotions flowed out of me and my team-mates asked me: "What is hurting?" I said: "Nothing! Nothing!" I was very happy.

[When Mato Stanković sent him on as flying goalkeeper] he said just keep the ball for two minutes, don't score, just keep the ball. After I saw the coach and he said: "Go, score a goal." We had a shot, the goalkeeper saved, and I scored the goal. So many things went through my mind when the ball was in the air, an unbelievable feeling.

We have a very good team, we didn't go into the game any different to normal, we went out there to play and what happened would happen. We have [Dario] Marinović, [Tihomir] Novak, [Franko] Jelovčić – we know we can match Spain. We didn't wave the white flag.

Tihomir Novak, Croatia forward
It's a great feeling to get a draw against the best team in Europe. We had a big defeat to them in qualification – I don't know what to say, I am really excited. But if we don't get a result against the Czech Republic we won't go further; we are still on a hard road.

We saw the sort of game we can play. I was a little disappointed because we might even have had a greater result. It is great to do this, but now we must work.

It was a great shot by [Sergio] Lozano [to hit the post in the dying seconds for Spain], I cannot believe he shot from 50 metres. I congratulate him.

Mato Stanković, Croatia coach
Everybody has been saying that the Spanish team are much better than us, but we inside we believed we could do something like this. We came into the match without any fear, of course at certain moments we were very lucky – without luck you can't get a 3-3 draw against Spain. But we played very well.

I told my players, in the first two minutes [with the flying goalkeeper] they were not to try to score, I wanted them to keep the ball for two minutes. Then at one moment I said my flying goalie wants to get a goal, and it happened. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't – but today it happened.

In the last 20 days, we have looked so much at video of Spain's matches against Serbia, Slovenia and Portugal, and we tried to do our best. The problem is we don't have ten players of that standard, but five or six players at that standard, and they were very tired. But today God was with us and we did a very good job. We will rest a little and then we will worry about the Czech Republic.

José Venancio López, Spain coach
It's no surprise. I didn't think we were going to draw but I knew it was going to be an even game. Croatia played a great game. I didn't think they could draw level at the end. In the first half, we weren't good defensively. They hurt us with their pivot. We corrected the situation after the break but we didn't know how to hold on to our 3-2 lead towards the end of the game.

We were looking at the five against four situation [with the flying keeper] yesterday, but we made a mistake tonight in going to apply pressure on them. We didn't know how to control that moment. We have to take our hats off to Croatia; they played very well. They played in a direct way in the first half and they controlled the game at that point. We reworked things after the restart and created them a lot of problems.

It's of course a small setback, but we are still fully confident [in our chances]. On Sunday we will play the crucial game and we will have no margin for error. We are going to correct the mistakes [made tonight] and look to play a great match on Sunday. 

Torras, Spain defender
Well, that's how opening games can be. We're competing at a EURO. Although Spain may be considered favourites it doesn't mean that they will get through easily. [Croatia] played their type of game and started very strongly. We never got into our rhythm and played a slow game. They made things easier for themselves with passes through the pivot.

We managed to put a few moves together and created a few chances while looking to find our pattern. We had more possession but they had the chances. We weren't good enough in the first half; we weren't sharp. We managed to equalise but they edged in front again.      

The second half was completely different. We moved the ball around quicker while there were also faster moves, with the involvement of the pivots one against the other and more shots on target. We managed all of that without allowing them to hit us on the counterattack like they did in the first half.

We looked to have more of the ball. We went in front playing well but they pulled level using their flying goalkeeper. These things can happen. We tried to win at all costs as the game went on but it just wasn't to be. We had more chances but we didn't convert them.

It could do us some good. What happened tonight will help us to learn. For those who thought that this would be easy, we saw that it wasn't the case. I think this is going to help us.   

Raúl Campos, Spain forward
The result has left a bad taste in our mouths. I was really looking forward to making my [EURO] debut and I did so but the result soured the day a little. We have to work hard and correct the mistakes so that this doesn't happen again.

My team-mates told me that in a final tournament, the first game is always the most difficult. We have to make sure this makes us stronger. We must work hard right up until Sunday and then play the game like it is a final. This team always stands up to the challenge in tricky moments and all we are thinking about now is the game against the Czech Republic.