Phenomenal Team Croatia. (credit: Youtube)
No matter how good you are if you’d not been tested at the major task at hand you may not know your true worth and quality. Yes talking about Croatia vs Nigeria at Russia 2018.
Nigeria was their first opponent, first combat and and eventually first victory.
They used strength and skills and patience against us. But hey they also bullied us and took some blood as well.
However they attack in such a way that if they are booked it was certainly a yellow and I doubt if any of the players had said ‘I do’ to red card and right now I can’t recollect their opponents getting penalty against them.
So does that mean the bullies in them only whispered but didn’t scream especially in their own box? Maybe, maybe not!
They demolished Argentina with 3 unreplied goals.
Now Croatia are conscious and smart enough to know the teams that can beat them and so they adopt the docile mentality and defend deep only to ambush you when you least expected. The ‘ambush’ in this context isn’t counter-attacks.
Now when they know they can beat you they attack and if you score them they’ll equalize and may not be too defensive and as such if they lead, their opponents might equalize as well but they usually go on to beat their opponents in the penalties.
Croatia were wary of England last night because they knew the 3 Lions could beat them and when they knew it was time to attack they bit and stung big and they didn’t rest on their oars.
Perhaps they knew England beat Colombia on penalties (I actually forgot this fact) and may beat them so they came aggressively at England without numbing or dulling the Sule in them otherwise John Stones header would have landed in their net.
That was the same template France used against Belgium and it worked brilliantly well.
Now Croatia are likely to respect France and adopt similar template and if France come out blazing the way Belgium did against them (though they are whale going into the final) but they could wail in the end.
I won’t underplay God’s factor in the Croatian cause and course to the final, in fact God had been helping them. Now thinking you could beat someone could be a huge disservice in the end. But Croatia had been able to avoid and avert that because they were (are) skilled in penalties and their keeper also good at manning his post.
It’s Croatia now yeah let’s talk about France tomorrow.
We are olayemiogunojo.com live from Nigeria.