MOSCOW, June 26 (Sputnik) - Iceland head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said that his players did their absolute best in their 2-1 defeat to Croatia and showed their true character but football was a "tough" game.
The match took place at the Rostov Arena on Tuesday and was the last game for Iceland at the World Cup as they failed to advance to the knockout stage.
"We left everything behind, I don't think there was much percentage left on the battery in the dying minutes, I think the players should have a lot of credit for this game and I hope they showed what they are about, the mentality of never giving up... That's life, that's football. Even though it's a beautiful game, sometimes it's really tough," Hallgrimsson said at the post match press conference.
The head coach added that it was a little bit of a shock for the players when they conceded in the second half but they did not give up.
"We knew they [Croatia] would have a little bit more of possession then we. Again, quite happy with the first half and then we conceded, I think, in the 8th minute of the second half... Of course we're disappointed with that... But I'm really proud of the performance and the character that the guys showed, " Hallgrimsson said .
Iceland, who were making their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup, finished bottom of Group D after losing two of their group-stage games and drawing one against two-time World Cup winners Argentina, who were on the brink of elimination as well but made it into the knockout stage after beating Nigeria 2-1 on Tuesday.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.