Croatia coach Slaven Bilic admitted he was upset by the nature of Crotia’s Euro 2008 exit at the hands of Turkey.
Croatia were set to go through to the semi-finals after taking the lead just before the end of extra-time but Turkey levelled with the last kick of the game and won the penalty shootout 3-1.
“My players put in a heroic performance and I can have no complaints about any of them,” said Bilic.
“Penalties are a lottery and the players felt confident enough to take the spot kicks.”
Ivan Klasnic had put Croatia in front but moments later Semih Senturk fired home an equaliser to send the quarter-final tie to spot-kicks.
Luca Modric and Ivan Rakitic each missed their penalties before Turkish keeper Rustuu saved from Petric to seal the Turks progress into the semi-finals.
“I thought that it was finished, that we had won and then in a flash this fantastic goal by Semih,” added Bilic, whose side are in the same group as England for the 2010 World Cup.
“After that, it was the drama of penalties. Oh well life goes on. Tomorrow is another day. We will now get back into the groove in the World Cup qualifiers.
“I want to congratulate both teams for a great game of football.
“This match shows why it’s the most dramatic and most popular game in the world.
“I congratulate Turkey but we have beaten beaten better opponents and the last two minutes I cannot begin to describe, both our goal and theirs and then penalties.
“The pain of this defeat will stay with me for a long time.
“It will haunt us forever.”