Croatia coach Dalic said, "We had a good match in Zagreb (Croatia won 4-1) but it was difficult here. If we had won 1-0 (in the first leg) it would have been very difficult tonight,"
So here’s the Euro 2016 pre-quarter-final take home: the team manager is even more important now than ever in international football, when you have only a few weeks to prepare a team for a major tournament.
Croatia's exit from Euro 2016 down to muddled strategies, confused team selection by coach Ante Cacic
Croatia coach Ante Cacic's preferences were known to nobody. There were fears Cacic himself didn't know his preferred XI. When a second-string line-up does better than the first-choice, it's a problem.
The match was an insipid display of football, one that had no shot on target until the 117th minute that led to the sole Portugal goal in extra time. The passing was terrible, the crossing was aimless, the attacking virtually non-existent.
Croatia coach Ante Cacic on Saturday claimed football was "unfair" after his side lost their Euro 2016 last 16 clash with Portugal 1-0.
Euro 2016: Croatia's dream run offers hope that this generation will soon bring joy to troubled nation
As the nation looks to overcome divides that transcend football, the Vatreni will play a crucial part in building the bridges. And in this generation of footballers, they certainly have hope for a positive future.
Croatia players Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic trained well on Friday and could be ready for at least part of the round of 16 game against Portugal.
Croatia's victory over Spain registers their presence as genuine contenders at Euro 2016. Before this game, they were an interesting, watchable team. Now, they are the team to beat
Croatia coach Ante Cacic said his players are an example the country's unruly fans should follow after shocking Spain 2-1 to top their Euro 2016 group.
Fears over the behaviour of their fans and the fitness of Luka Modric have overshadowed Croatia's preparations for their bid to secure a last-16 place at Euro 2016 against two-time defending European champions Spain
Croatian fans who hurled flares on the pitch to halt their country's Euro 2016 match against Czech Republic were branded "sports terrorists" as the showcase tournament suffered new troubles.
In the first half of their match against the Czech Republic on Friday, Croatia looked like a team that could challenge holders Spain. A team that could go the distance. They had composure, they controlled and dominated the game in every part of the pitch, and they made the Czech players look pedestrian
Croatia have the privilege of deploying two brilliant central midfielders, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, but their defence could betray them.