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Page last updated at 19:54 GMT, Sunday, 8 June 2008 20:54 UK
Austria 0-1 Croatia

Bilic believes his side will improve

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said some of his players let the occasion get to them as they toiled to a 1-0 win over Austria in their Euro 2008 opener.

His side had to hang on for long spells after Luka Modric's fourth-minute penalty had given them the lead.

Austria piled on the pressure but just failed to snatch an equaliser.

"Some players were overwhelmed by playing at a great tournament but we started off with the best possible way - with a win," said Bilic.

"In the first 35 minutes we played excellently, of course the early lead contributed to that.

"They exerted more pressure in the second half and I'm sure that is not to do with a lack of strength from our players. But we confined ourselves to our penalty area too early.

"The last 15 minutes or so when they play all or nothing, you can do that - but we started in the 60th minute or so."

Croatia have a record of starting tournaments slowly, so Bilic was delighted with victory in the Group B opener.

"I didn't think the players were happy when they got back in the dressing room," he added.

"I turned on the CD player and said they should sing because they won."

Highlights: Austria 0-1 Croatia

Group B
16 June 2008 21:40
    P GD PTS
1 Croatia 3 3 9
2 Germany 3 2 6
3 Austria 3 -2 1
4 Poland 3 -3 1

see also
Austria 0-1 Croatia
08 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Austria team guide
15 May 08 |  Austria
Croatia team guide
15 May 08 |  Croatia

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