World Cup 2022: Croatian coach criticizes John Herdman for avoiding handshake

Zlatko Dalić said Canada head coach John Herdman must
Zlatko Dalić said Canada head coach John Herdman must "learn some things" after he seemingly avoided shaking hands with the Croatian coach following a 4-1 loss on Sunday. (Getty Images)

After shocking the world with a masterful display in their first World Cup game since 1986, the Canadian men’s national team were emphatically humbled in their second match against Croatia. The 4-1 loss not only eliminated them from contention with a game to spare, but served as a reminder to respect the success and caliber of their opponents.

During his post-match comments following the game against Belgium, head coach John Herdman claimed they would go on to “F Croatia.” As runners-up in the 2018 World Cup, the Croatian side unsurprisingly took umbrage to a comment like that, letting it serve as motivation as they dispatched Canada comfortably.

At full-time, John Herdman was nowhere to be seen, heading straight down the tunnel without shaking hands with Croatian head coach Zlatko Dalic.

“He wasn't there and that's his way of doing things. He's obviously mad. He is a good coach, he is a high-quality professional, but it will take some time for him to learn some things,” said Dalic. “Whether I lose or win, I always congratulate the other head coach.”

While Alphonso Davies opened the scoring just 68 seconds in, it would all go downhill from there. Croatia’s midfield trio of Luka Modrić, Marcelo Brozović, and Mateo Kovačić sliced through Canada with ease, creating chances every time they touched the ball, and enabling the four unanswered goals that led them to victory.

The Croatian boss wasn’t the only one to remind Canada to watch their comments next time around. Andrej Kramarić — who scored a brace in a Man of the Match performance — thanked Herdman for the extra boost in motivation, adding that “In the end, Croatia demonstrated who eff'd whom."

After scoring their first-ever goal at a men’s World Cup, Canada will now look to take their first points in the tournament as a potential spoiler when they face off against Morocco on Thursday.

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