Hiddink hails fighting spirit

الجمعة، 23 يونيو 2006 - 17:56

كتب : Hatem Maher


Australia coach Guus Hiddink praised his side's fighting spirit after they came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Croatia, a result that lifted them to the second round of the World Cup.

"They scored a terrific free-kick and we were 1-0 down. But I know this team has enormous mental power to be able to come back," Hiddink was quoted as saying by BBC Sport after Friday's match.

"I know this team, this team can react always and it did again this time. This team has a lion's heart, to fight until the end. They are very competitive, they never give up whatever happens," he added.

Darijo Srna put Croatia up front early from a free-kick before Craig Moore scored the equalizer for Australia from a spot-kick.

Croatia restored the lead through Nico Kovac before Harry Kewell levelled again for Australia 12 minutes from time.

Australia will face Italy in the second round after they finished second in Group F with four points, five behind leaders Brazil.

On the other hand, Croatia boss Zlatko Kranjcar was left fuming with the referee, who sent-off duo Dario Simic and Josip Simunic and allowed two controversial goals.

"One goal was perhaps offside, the other possibly wasn't a penalty," he said.

But Kranjcar rued his side's missed chances, one of the factors which resulted in Croatia's elimination.

"We are sad but we must look to the future. I don't want to comment on the referee. We missed our chances."

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