Croatian footballers mobbed the photographers' pit after beating England last night

12 July, 2018, 20:12 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Theo Walcott's hat-trick helped England to a 4-1 revenge win in 2008

Members of the Croatian team have hit back at England for their perceived arrogance before the game, including Ivan Rakitic.

"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 Ivan Kecerin, 41.

Ivan Perisic flicked a cross home with his outstretched boot to level the score at 1-1 following Kieran Trippier's brilliant free kick which put England ahead after just five minutes.

England will now play Belgium on July 10th in the third place playoff match, a game that could see Kane extend his personal goal tally, but is not the game he would have initially wanted to have played in.

As the extra period started Croatia struggled to maintain their intense pressure but continued to threaten the England defense.

It's the first time that Croatia - a nation of just 4 million people - have reached the final of the World Cup, and to say their players were elated was like saying Gareth Southgate kind of likes waistcoats.

"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup".

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An Agence France-Presse photographer was sent tumbling as he was caught in the cross-fire of the celebrations deep into extra-time.

"We showed again that we were not exhausted - we dominated the game mentally and physically". "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

"We gave it everything, I know we're gonna look back and say we could have done this and what but at the end of the day it was small margins in a big game and it didn't go our way today", said striker Kane, now the tournament's top scorer with six goals. We should have killed the game before extra time, but this is an incredible achievement for us, a dream come true. "And I don't think after the six or seven weeks we have been together, that we could have given more".

But it was Croatia who struck in the 109th minute when Perisic won a header on the edge of the box and the ball dropped for Mandzukic whose firm low finish beat Pickford.

Talk about the potential rule loophole started after Portugal's Jose Fonte strangely chose to stay in the field of play while the rest of his team celebrated Cristiano Ronaldo's equaliser against Spain off the pitch.

"We all feel the pain of the defeat".

The Three Lions managed their 1-0 lead for more than an hour of playing time.

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    We can at least defend two crosses. "We restored some pride back into the shirt, which was an important thing for us to do". Romelu Lukaku will nearly certainly start as he needs two goals to overtake Harry Kane and win the Golden Boot.


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