Croatia’s route to the 2018 World Cup final

12 July, 2018, 09:23 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Three Lions was originally released in 1996 to coincide with the European Championship held in England

They've taken a nation with them. Croatia proved to be the better side as the game wore on and scored a deserved equaliser through Perisic, with Mandzukic then hitting the post before scoring the decisive strike.

But Raj Singh, a Canadian who supports England because he has relatives in Britain, said the team may have passed up their best opportunity in a lifetime to reach a World Cup final.

If the match is to be won in 90 minutes, punters are predicting a 2-1 victory for England, while 65% of bets will be on England to win.

In the stadium that can still echo to the memories of the legendary middle distance battles between Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe at Moscow's 1980 Olympics, England stumbled with the finishing tape in sight.

The dream ended for supporters in Moscow and at home as Gareth Southgate's men lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final after extra time. But big football powers won't all be as weak together for a long time, you'd suspect.

Next, just look at the England team's progress in the last few years.

This was only Croatia's second ever World Cup semi-final after defeat in 1998 to France and it is France they will face on Sunday in Moscow.

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The Croatian-national was quietly cheering on her team this morning while keeping an eye on the semifinal between her homeland and England on her computer at work.

England's Fifa World Cup loss is Croatia's gain, much to the delight of Tauranga woman Ana Craig.

The national football team of hosts Russian Federation managed to make it to the quarterfinals stage of this world championship, where Croatia edged them out in a 4-2 penalty shootout on July 7 at the Fisht Arena in Sochi.

A win for England would help erase World Cup futility.

To mark the monumental occasion on Wednesday, which is England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990, the iconic Black Prince statue in City Square is now holding an England flag and its very own football.

They will, however, have to reflect on a glorious opportunity to reach a World Cup final that has been wasted. It's a more vibrant team, one with greater self-belief.

Southgate has rebuilt the England team since their abject failure at Euro 2016, when Roy Hodgson's side were humiliated by Iceland in the round of 16. He has shown a sure touch in his handling of matters on and off the pitch and is a young, progressive coach. There is still one game to play and the most important of our careers.

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