Russia’s decision to purposely defend for long periods in their round of 16 match against Spain was justified, Croatia forward Ivan Perisic said today.
Russia defeated Spain 4-3 on penalties, after the match ended in a 1-1 draw following extra time, with Stanislav Cherchesov’s side having to defend for much of the game. With that victory, Russia move through to the quarter-finals where they will face Croatia.
"Of course we have seen Russia play both in the group stage and in the round of 16," Perisic said.
"They changed their style for a more defensive option in the game with Spain, and it was justified. We must be ready for both Russian styles."
Perisic did not single out any of Russia’s players for praise, but instead mentioned their strong teamwork.
The game between Croatia and Russia will take place on Sunday (AEST) in Sochi.