Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

12 July, 2018, 17:18 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Croatia shrug

England could not hold on to a fifth-minute lead following a Kieran Trippier free-kick, and instead of playing France in the final in Moscow will now come up against Belgium in St Petersburg in the match for third place.

"It was a very hard game for us", said man of the match Ivan Perisic, who cancelled out Kieran Trippier's early goal with a fine effort of his own.

Jubilant Croatian fans honked their auto horns and let off fireworks while England fans sobbed and looked to the future with confidence after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor took Croatia to its first World Cup final. We can at least defend two crosses. "We restored some pride back into the shirt, which was an important thing for us to do".

Croatia looked vulnerable from set-pieces against Russian Federation, conceding the equaliser in extra-time via a set-play, so this is an area England can exploit. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge.

"You did us proud": The Star pays tribute to England's "brave lions", even though they came up short on a "night of raw emotion". "We enjoyed every moment as a nation, I'd like to thank all the staff and fans for being behind us", he tweeted.

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This time around, we could see the stars play, or we could see some more reserves to get some guys some minutes, and that makes picking here hard. We beat our record from 20 years ago. I think my wife would throw me out if I spent that much. "We've proved to ourselves and our country that is possible".

"We had hoped [for this] and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Croatia fan Ivan Kecerin.

Romelu Lukaku will nearly certainly start as he needs two goals to overtake Harry Kane and win the Golden Boot.

The Three Lions once again scored from a dead ball situation, their eighth set-piece goal of this World Cup. "I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks".

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