Turkey loss will haunt us for life, says Croatian coach

June 21st, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 21 (DPA) Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said the dramatic penalty shootout loss Friday to Turkey in the quarter-final of Euro 2008 would haunt him and his players for the rest of their lives. Croatia looked to have set up a semi-final date with Germany when substitute Ivan Klasnic headed his side in front in the second-last minute of extra-time but incredibly there was still time for Semih Senturk to equalize for Turkey, who went on to prevail 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out.

“If you sum up the 120 minutes we had more chances than the Turks but they exerted some pressure too,” said Bilic.

“The last two minutes were unbelievable, this will probably haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Bilic said the loss was naturally a bitter disappointment as he and his players thought that they could have gone to the end of the tournament.

“This isn’t going to be easy to forget as this is not the type of game you play every week where you win some and you lose some,” said the 39-year-old.

“We will never forget this, it will be with us for the rest of our lives. But we have to go on. We have a young team.”

One player who probably won’t have a chance to digest the result on the pitch is captain Niko Kovac.

“I am now 36 years old,” said the defender. “I don’t really have many chances left to make this disappear. I will carry it around with me for the rest of my life.”

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