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Belgium coach Browaeys 'happiest person in world'

Bob Browaeys could not contain his joy after Belgium defeated Croatia on penalties in the quarter-finals, his opposite number Dario Bašić saying "this is football, this is life".

Croatia goalkeeper Adrian Šemper is beaten by one of Belgium's five perfect penalties
Croatia goalkeeper Adrian Šemper is beaten by one of Belgium's five perfect penalties ©LAP.bg

Belgium beat Croatia 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in their Burgas quarter-final
Red Devils coach Bob Browaeys is "the happiest person in the world"
Browaeys praises the response of his side after they fall behind before half-time
Croatia's Dario Bašić says Belgium "kept their cool better than us"
Bašić now focusing on Croatia's FIFA U-17 World Cup play-off on Tuesday

Dario Bašić, Croatia coach
It's very hard to know what to say after losing a match like that. In seven games we conceded only one goal, which was a key one for us. It was a tough game and from the first minute both teams were feeling the pressure, meaning we didn't see much attacking football. It was very tactical and both teams were afraid to do something because of how much the game meant. Belgium capitalised on an individual mistake [from Branimir Kalaica] and in the end they kept their cool better than us. They coped better with the penalties and, consequently, I can only congratulate them.

Nikola Moro [whose penalty was decisively saved] will encounter this situation a lot, so life goes on. We have another chance to get to the [FIFA U-17] World Cup, which was our main goal. It's very important for the players to realise that this is football, this is life, and they have to emerge from this situation even stronger. Next time they are in this situation they will know how to handle the pressure better.

Highlights: Croatia 1-1 Belgium
Highlights: Croatia 1-1 Belgium

Bob Browaeys, Belgium coach
I'm maybe the happiest person in the world right now. The players did fantastically because Croatia are a very strong team. They showed how good they are and created chances. You need some luck when it comes to penalties, but that could have been because of the hard work the players put in. We're very happy that we will go to the World Cup. For the association it's about development and we can offer them another great tournament. We have to prepare the players for a professional career and possibly the senior national team, so they need to be in these tournaments. Congratulations to my players and staff because they have worked very hard over the last two years.

We knew it would be difficult to score against Croatia, but in football anything is possible. Their goal was fortunate, it wasn't normal, and they didn't have any chances in the first half. The reaction of my team [to falling behind] was excellent, but the game was very close. I hope Croatia get to the World Cup – they deserve to with the quality of players they have and because of the style in which they play. They're a small country like Belgium and have to battle against the big nations like England, Spain, France and Germany, so that is also something to be proud of.