Croatian press praises 'Bilic boys'
The Croatian press on Tuesday praised the 'Bilic boys' after Croatia garnered a perfect nine points in their UEFA EURO 2008 group after they beat Poland 1-0 on Monday.
"Heroes," "Poland sank too," "Their thoughts are on Turkey (their quarter-final opponents)," "Turks will fall in Vienna," boasted the frontpages of Croatian dailies.
The papers singled out Ivan Klasnic's return to top class football just over a year after undergoing a kidney transplant operation. The 28-year-old scored the only goal in the 53rd minute.
"Life too often doesn't offer many real opportunities, Klasnic used this one to the maximum," read the Vecernji List column under the headline "Klasnic's prayers answered."
Jutarnji List stressed that coach Slaven Bilic made a good choice keeping his top eight players on the bench during the match with Poland, saving them for Friday's quarter-final in Vienna.
Even without those players "Croatia didn't have a weak point and has exceeded all expectations and beaten a demoralized Poland," the paper said.
According to the paper Bilic has "already passed the toughest tests after having a lot of trouble beating Austria, 'running over' Germany and triumphing over Poland with a back-up crew."
The Croatian press said it now expected Bilic to secure another victory in the quarter-finals.
"Although, it will be an awfully difficult match, since the Turks are not a world class outfit but are making up for it with their fanaticism, which led them to the quarter-finals," Jutarnji List said.