Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic saluted skipper Luka Modric after he shook off the disappointment of missing an extra-time penalty to help his side seal a shoot-out victory over Denmark.
The Real Madrid midfielder failed from 12 yards with the sides locked together at 1-1 after 120 minutes in their last-16 clash in Nizhny Novgorod, but converted from the spot at the second time of asking as goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three Danish penalties to lay the foundation for a 3-2 win.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Dalic said: 'He took the responsibility as a true captain. He scored and it speaks volumes about Luka.
Luka Modric scored in the penalty shootout as Croatia sealed a dramatic win over Denmark
Minutes earlier the midfielder had seen an extra-time spot kick saved by Kasper Schmeichel
Following the win in Nizhny Novgorod, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic saluted his skipper's character
'He said he wanted to take one in the penalty shoot-out - can you imagine what would have happened had he not scored? This shows the qualities of a great player and Luka is a great player.'
If it was Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic who ultimately sent Croatia through with his side's fifth spot-kick, it was Subasic who was the hero after saving from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen to book a quarter-final showdown with hosts Russia.
Dalic said: 'He was our hero tonight. He saved three penalties in the penalty shoot-out - you don't see that every day. He pulled us out when we needed it most.'
Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved