Croatia to give coach Dalic new contract for World Cup

Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic addresses reporters during a media conference one day ahead of their World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match against Greece, at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Piraeus, near Athens, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic will have his contract extended after qualifying for the World Cup within weeks of being hired.

The Croatian Football Federation says its executive committee will ”verify this agreement” next week.

Dalic took charge for Croatia’s final qualifying group game when coach Ante Cacic was fired after drawing with Finland 1-1 at home.

Under Dalic, Croatia won in Ukraine 2-0, then in the playoffs eliminated Greece 4-1 on aggregate on Sunday.

Federation president Dakor Suker says Dalic ”absolutely justified our confidence in him, confirming he was the right choice.”

Dalic previously spent seven years with clubs in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It is the second straight time Croatia advanced to the World Cup with a coach appointed late in the qualifiers.