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'Eff Croatia': Herdman's words could turn motivation for Canada's next opponent

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An emotional John Herdman has apparently given Croatia some bulletin-board material ahead of its World Cup showdown with Canada on Sunday.

Immediately after Wednesday's 1-0 loss to second-ranked Belgium — a game that saw No. 41 Canada dominate play but fail to score — Herdman shared what he told his players in the post-game huddle on the field. "I told them they belong here and we're going to go and eff— Croatia," he said with a smile in FIFA's official post-game pitchside interview. "That's as simple as it gets." A loss to No.

12 Croatia and Canada's hope of advancing to the knockout round out of Group F evaporates. Asked about Herdman's comments, Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic said everybody has their own communication style. "I'm not sure how nice it is to say something like that but it's his right," he added through an interpreter. "I think we need to show on the pitch that we're better." WATCH | Post-match analysis of Canada-Belgium on CBC Sports' Soccer North: On Thursday, a Croatian reporter asked Herdman about his comment. "Did you really say after last night's match that you were going to F-word Croatia?

And if you did, is that underestimating Croatia as runner-up of [the] last World Cup?" Herdman did not back down, but was more diplomatic this time around. "Great question," he said. "And yeah, I did.

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