NIZHNY NOVGOROD Russia (Xinhua) --
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel says
he is proud of his team despite of their failure to reach the
World Cup quarterfinals after a disappointing loss to Croatia
here on Sunday.
After a 120-minute
draw, the Danish lost 3-2 to Croatia in a thrilling penalty
shootout, in which the Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved
three penalties and Schmeichel stopped two.
chosen as the man of the match for his superb saves. “Today we
had opportunities, and we were better in the second half and in
the extra time. But we didn’t have the luck. It is difficult to
accept that and to put it into words,” Schmeichel said at a
“It’s a strange
feeling, [a] huge disappointment, but also enormous pride about
our team, not only the 11 people on the pitch, but also everyone
involved or working for the team,” the 31-year-old said.
When asked about
whether he felt let down by teammates who missed the penalties
in the shootout, Schmeichel said that anyone who stood up and
took the penalty is a hero to him and has his respect. “We win,
we lose, as a team. This is a fantastic team, which I’m proud
of. It’s important that we remember this feeling, and we use it
in the future,” he said.
During extra time,
Schmeichel saved a Luka Modric penalty and prevented Croatia
from winning the game before the lottery of a penalty shootout.
He said after the game that the save was made with intuition,
“with what I felt at that moment; unfortunately it was not
enough in the end.”
Although the team
will not continue their World Cup campaign, Schmeichel thanked
the hosts for organizing such a good tournament. “Everywhere we
went, we were treated very well. The pitch, the stadium, the
fans...everything is fantastic. It was upsetting that we are not
going to experience this anymore,” he said.
watched by his father and former Denmark and Manchester United
legend Peter Schmeichel.
This is the cruelty of
football, says Denmark coach
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, (Xinhua) --
Denmark coach Age Hareide said on
Sunday that his team lost to Croatia by only a small margin and
this is the cruelty of football.
Denmark lost to
Croatia 3-2 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out after an rather
even match with the two sides tied 1-1 after extra time.
both sides performed outstandingly, with Croatia goalkeeper
Danijel Subasic saving three penalties and Denmark’s Kasper
Schmeichel stopping two.
“Kasper did all that
he could to make sure we won the match, both in extra time and
in shootout. But our three best players for penalties all missed
today,” Hareide told a post-match press conference.
“I’m sorry for
Kasper and for the whole team. I think they played well. But
that is what can happen in penalties, and this is the cruelty of
football,” the coach added.
He went on to
explain how players could miss penalties though they have been
much better during trainings.
“When you are out
there in training, there is no pressure. But research shows that
your pulse is like in a war zone when you take a penalty. We had
a wonderful keeper, but that didn’t help,” he said.
Hareide said that
his players had done a good job in getting Croatia under control
and creating chances, and he could think of nothing that he
could have done differently or better to win the match.
“If you put more
people up front, there is risk of counterattack. Croatia is one
of the best teams in Europe on counterattacks. Having control is
also important. But we (already) had better control in the
second half,” said the coach.
Regarding the team’s
future, Hareide said that his team will continue to stay strong
and learn a lot from the World Cup matches.
“When we go back to
the locker room, we continue as team. If we can stay strong, I
think we will be better in the (future) European Championships,”