Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Croatia hoping to send England home rather than see Football Come Home

Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16 Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16
Julia Gonzales | 09 July, 2018, 07:17

England have no such fitness concerns after coasting to a 2-0 quarterfinal win against Sweden in normal time in Samara, but manager Gareth Southgate does have tactical questions to answer before the Croatia clash. "Croatia's success is much more important to me than that", he said.

England won 4-2 at Euro 2004 in the only meeting at a major tournament, but the most famous encounter was in Nov 2007, when Croatia's 3-2 win at Wembley denied England a place at Euro 2008 and earned manager Steve McClaren the nickname of the "Wally with the Brolly" after he forlornly patrolled the touchline under an umbrella.

Millions of football fans will be gripped to their televisions on Saturday as England look to secure their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

There's no way they couldn't be after ousting Denmark on penalties in the round of 16, then being forced to extra time again by host Russian Federation on Saturday night.

After taking an extra-time lead when Domagoj Vida scored just the third goal of his lengthy worldwide career, Croatia could have been looking at a penalty shootout exit when Mario Fernandes found a dramatic late equaliser for Russian Federation.

There's also some concern about goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after he required treatment late in the second half and during any breaks through extra time and the shootout after appearing to injure his right hamstring.

Subasic wasn't up to kicking the ball though and threw it instead when making clearances.

'Yeah, England maybe have an advantage because we have less days to recover than we did before this match but I'm sure that we will recover well.

British Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns over European Union exit plan
May's office said a replacement for Davis would be announced Monday. Conservative MP Henry Smith appeared also to support Davis' stance.

Lovren added that he was confident right-back Sime Vrsaljko would recover from the muscle injury that forced him off in extra-time against Russian Federation. However, Croatia had other plans and went unbeaten to win the group impressively.

"Russia has shown the world what kind of championship we can have - the best in the world", said another fan. "Their generation are more than heroes for us", added Rakitic.

Croatia stand between England and the World Cup final.

It's been a remarkable run for Croatia, a squad that had failed to advance out of group play in their previous three World Cup appearances.

"I think we are underdogs from Day 1 and it's good for us", Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said. We will find extra motivation, extra everything.

"[Putin] watched, he was rooting for the team. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us", Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.

Whoever makes it through today's last two games will be through to the semi-final matches, which will then follow next week. "They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.

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