Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Fifa World Cup 2018 semi-final scores and updates

Are Croatia any good at football? World ranking and World Cup record of England opponents Croatia’s Luka Modric
Sidney Guerrero | 12 July, 2018, 02:23

What happened this morning?

Mario Mandzukic's extra-time strike completed a battling turnaround as Croatia beat England 2-1 in Moscow to reach the World Cup final for the first time in their history.

Croatia emerged for the second half stronger and equalised on 68 minutes when Ivan Perisic got ahead of Kyle Walker to flick home a finish on the volley.

Mario Mandzukic was Croatia's match-winner, swivelling to power home the decisive goal in the 109th minute. Less than five minutes were on the clock when Kieran Trippier curled a delicious free-kick past the helpless Danijel Subasic.

Trippier's father is a passionate football fan, famously erecting a flagpole to fly the England flag in his front yard and ignoring local council pleas to take it down.

Keane tore into England after their 2-1 extra-time defeat to Croatia in Wednesday night's World Cup semi-final.

England's start was emphatic, as they swiftly put Croatia on the back foot through a driving Dele Alli run, which Luka Modric had to stop on the edge of the area by fouling the Tottenham star. When Southgate finally made the change late in the second half, it was to replace Henderson with Eric Dier rather than support him.

Tense moments followed for the 12th man as Croatia tried to pile the pressure on and fans had their hearts in their mouths when the score was only kept level by some desperate England defending.

Crawford was capped twice by the Three Lions in the early sixties and played on the same pitch as all of the triumphant England team of that era at some stage or another during a near fifteen-year career in the game. "I could only dream of playing for my country and scoring one of the most important goals to reach the final", Perisic said.

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The team's rare success at a major tournament has captured the nation's attention, but Southgate says - regardless of how far England go - that his life will remain the same. England gave two sloppy goals away.

England last won the World Cup in 1996.

England's Golden Generation didn't come to fruition as the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney failed to take the Three Lions past the quarter-finals. Only Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard have scored on every day of the week for England.

England too left Italy 28 years ago feeling that the team featuring Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne could have gone all the way.

"We are just going to stick with what we have been doing all the way through". "It's supposed to be fun, isn't it?"

Victoria Lopyreva, an official ambassador for the World Cup and a former Miss Russia, called on Britons on Monday to come to Moscow for the match. Young team with huge potential.

Perisic came close again and Mandzukic had a shot saved by Pickford as Croatia pressed for the victor but it wasn't to come and the game headed into extra-time.

What's next? England will meet Belgium in the playoff for third and fourth in St. Petersburg on Sunday morning at 2am (NZT).

Gareth Southgate's men have ripped up the script over a remarkable a month that now sees them preparing for a semi-final clash against Croatia.

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