Croatia manager hits out at ‘suspicious’ penalty decision vs Argentina

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has criticised the decision to award Argentina a penalty in their 3-0 World Cup semi-final loss to La Albiceleste on Tuesday.

A brace from Julian Alvarez helped Argentina book their place in Sunday’s final, where they will now meet either France or Morocco.

However, before Alvarez got on the score sheet, he won his side a penalty in the first half after a swift move from back-to-front from a goal kick. He attempted to lob the ball over Dominik Livakovic, and while his shot was cleared off the line, the Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper had brought him down in the act of trying to make a save and a spot kick was awarded, duly finished by Lionel Messi.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Dalic believes his side were wronged twice leading to the opener.

“The first goal as very suspicious, to be honest. First. we had the situation with the corner. Apparently [Croatia should have had] a corner, according to the reaction of our players. Then we had the situation with the penalty… It was a little bit too cheap and easy,” he said.

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Dalic, a legend in Croatia after leading them to the 2018 World Cup final, was then asked if he would be staying on as manager.

“I will continue,” he confirmed. “My contract is to 2024, after the European Champions and in six months we have the Nations League and we have World Cup qualifiers. My plan is to take Croatia to Euro 2024.”

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