Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

PETER SHILTON England’s first-choice goalkeeper in Italy played on until 1997 and now runs a consultancy business with his wife. He competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 and works on the after-dinner speaking circuit England World Cup semi final 1990 Where are they now?England’s starting 11 against Germany in the World Cup
Sidney Guerrero | 12 July, 2018, 10:43

The Croats, who play France on Sunday, fought back to beat England 2-1 after extra time, securing a first World Cup final appearance.

The Croatian players were quick to tend to Cortez.

As England stalled it was Croatia who produced the powerful late surge to win through goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic, showing strength nearly beyond reason given their World Cup exertions.

Not after they conquered their shootout demons against Colombia in the Round of 16, and not after Southgate and his staff went to great lengths to ensure his players would embrace the tiebreaker if England got the opportunity to change its luck.

Croatia were a goal down against Denmark in the last-16 as well as against Russian Federation in the quarter-finals, before equalising and forcing extra time and penalty shootouts to advance.

When Croatia scored the goal that took them into the World Cup final on Wednesday, an AFP photographer unwittingly became part of the celebrations as he was buried under a pile of joyous players.

Van Avermaet beats Thomas to yellow jersey as Froome recovers lost time
In the last week, they have been drilling their team time trial as well as riding the cobbles of the Roubaix stage nine. Kiwi rider Patrick Bevin leads BMC Racing through the team time trial course on the Tour de France.

Kieran Trippier couldn't hold back the tears as he realised England's World Cup dream was over.

After watching their team stumble at major tournaments for decades, often falling to much smaller nations, England supporters had begun to think that 2018 might be a different story.

With the game's score tied as of this story's publish, chances are high there will only be more beer spilled as English - and Croatian - fans continue to root avidly for their country's success on the World Cup stage. Belgium seems like the safer play, with $100 on the more talented, fresher team netting you $130. "If we win I really want to be there, but I just can't afford the prices being quoted".

When England don't have the ball, they struggle against teams who are comfortable with it. They won a knockout game for the first time since 2006.

England must now rouse themselves for the finale of the third-placed play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday. It could be a repeat of that under-strength group game that brought a Belgian victory.

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