Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić says his team’s friendly against Senegal has provided them with the needed test ahead of their 2018 World Cup opener against Nigeria on June 16.
Dalic’s Croatian side came from 1-0 down to beat World Cup-bound Senegal 2-1 in their final warmup game on Friday.
Ismaila Sarr opened scoring for Senegal on 48 minutes before goals from Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric in the 63rd and 78th minutes, completed the comeback win.
Reacting to the win, Dalic says his team overcame Senegal who in his view are the best team in Africa.
“Congratulations to Senegal for a good performance, they are the best African team, with pacey players, quick transition, and quality defence,” Dalic told Croatia Football Federation.
“That was just the test we needed before the Nigeria encounter at the World Cup.
“In the first half, we distributed the ball too slowly, leaving us with no solutions. Later on, we corrected some things and performed better searching for an equalizer and the winner.”
He expressed delight that they will be heading to Russia on a winning note in their final warmup game but admitted they still need to improve in some aspect of their game.
He added:”Croatia has to be happy to be leaving for Russia with a win, even though we need to improve even further, in order to open the FIFA World Cup with a positive result.
“I remain optimistic, while Croatia needs to learn a lesson, play faster and present more quality. In seven days, we have to be at our maximum level.”