Last night Croatia lost a dramatic semi-final clash against hosts Serbia. Despite a marvellous first half, the Croats were unfocused and made several technical errors in the second period. Serbia, in top gear, produced a top-notch second half and marched on to the final with this victory.
Croatian goalkeeper Mirko Alilovic spoke to ehf-euro.com about yesterday´s defeat and the bronze match.
ehf-euro.com: How do you feel after yesterday´s semi-final defeat against Serbia?
Mirko Alilovic: It was a sleepless night for me and most of my team-mates. We met in the late evening to discuss the game, but for most of us it felt better to just disappear back to our rooms and to think about the match when alone.
ehf-euro.com: How do you reflect on the two different match halves?
Mirko Alilovic: Despite our efforts in first half and our lead it was a very sad feeling that we were defeated. Serbia were too powerful in second half so we couldn’t maintain our lead.
ehf-euro.com: How much of a disadvantage was the atmosphere in the arena?
Mirko Alilovic: For me it is not difficult to play in front of a crowd like that. The opposite, it pushes me extraordinarily. But as our defence did not perform well in the second period, they overcame us and we lost.
ehf-euro.com: How hard is it now to motivate for the bronze medal match?
Mirko Alilovic: Very hard as we are very disappointed. So I don´t know how we will be able to fight against Spain tomorrow. Our aim was to play in the EHF EURO final. We failed and now it feels hard to stand up and go on court to play that game.
ehf-euro.com: Is the bronze medal your next aim?
Mirko Alilovic: I don’t know yet, right now I feel very empty. We came to Serbia with a great team and high hopes, but then we lost one of the most important matches of the tournament...