Croatia coach Ante Cacic lamented his fancied side’s failure to score against bogey team Portugal in their 1-0 Euro 2016 last 16 defeat on Saturday as Ricardo Quaresma’s extra time header sent them out.
The match was a turgid affair and appeared set for penalties before Danijel Subasic parried Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike into the path of substitute Quaresma who made no mistake from point-blank range three minutes from the end of extra time.
Croatia enjoyed 17 shots to their opponents’ six, but failed to register a single effort on target though they did hit the post through Ivan Perisic’s header just before Portugal scored.
“Everything was perfect except we didn’t score,” Cacic told reporters, “so we weren’t successful in attack.”
Croatia scored five goals in the group stage but have failed to find the net against Portugal in all four of their matches, losing every one.
“We played really well and were controlling the match,” he added, “we conceded no chances, except the last one.
“They scored in the 117th minute, I congratulate them. They kept us far from goal and that’s why they scored from the counter-attack.
“That was our mistake and we were punished,” Cacic added, “but that’s football and many times the best team doesn’t win.”
Croatia’s odds of winning the tournament were slashed after they came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and top Group D, but they failed to produce a dynamic performance against Portugal.
“I am really sad as we had a great chance,” added Cacic. “The draw was perfect for us, we knew if we beat Portugal we had an open path.”
Portugal now advance to a quarter-final date with Poland, who beat Switzerland on penalties earlier on Saturday, in Marseille on Thursday. (Reporting by Phil O’Connor; editing by Ken Ferris