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Sammir ready for tough Mexico test
Jun 20, 2014 12:08 PM EST
Sammir is aware of the size of the task facing Croatia ahead of their vital FIFA World Cup Group A finale with Mexico next Monday.
Getafe attacking midfielder Sammir impressed in Croatia's 4-0 win over Cameroon on Wednesday as Niko Kovac's men kept hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive in emphatic fashion.
The 27-year-old's appearance against Cameroon marked only his seventh cap for Croatia, who sit third in the group, one point behind Mexico and Brazil.
Sammir, who was born in Brazil, is hopeful that he will be given the chance to help Croatia book a place in the last 16 and extend their stay in his homeland.
"I am pleased with how I played against Cameroon," Sammir told 24 Sata.
"I hope to be included for the match with Mexico."
Mexico - who have yet to concede a goal in the World Cup - only require a draw to progress, while Croatia, in all likelihood, will need to claim all three points in Recife.
Kovac's team will reach the next stage with a draw and a surprise Brazil defeat to Cameroon, but Sammir does not want to leave anything to chance against a side that won plaudits after holding the hosts to a goalless stalemate on Tuesday.
"Our goal is clear," he added. "We have to win to get through to the second round. I hope it is not the last game of the tournament.
"Mexico has a great team, working as a group, rather than standing out individually.
"Their advantage over us is that they'd need to draw, but we will make sure that this does not happen.
"It will be a tough 90 minutes, mentally it is hard to play when you know you just have to win, but we'll do our best.
"Mexico has played very well, a very strong start. But we have a few days to get ready for them, and to study how to stop them."