Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Croatia into the World Cup Final!

England vs Croatia Mario Mandzukic GETTY England vs Croatia Mario Mandzukic insists his team have what it takes to beat England’s No 1
Lora Ball | 12 July, 2018, 03:56

They even found time to cure a deep-seated psychological hangup about penalties with England's first-ever shootout win at a World Cup. "We worked so hard, the fans were wonderful, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better".

In reality, I may have left out the most important key battle- the one at the penalty spot. Knockout football is fine margins.

"Tonight we weren't quite there but we will learn from that". If he's left to do the job his way, then we have a very bright future.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has also opted to stiffen his midfield and sacrifice one of his offensive players with Marcelo Brozovic replacing Andrej Kramaric in the line-up.

"I'll obviously speak to the forwards and tell them what I think", Henderson said.

"Players had run out of steam but that's partly their age - they're still physically maturing".

The victory is historic for Croatia, the second smallest nation to make the World Cup final after Uruguay, but it's no fluke.

Croatia have an experienced squad and will go into the match with the belief of going the distance.

Henderson said the identity Southgate brought to the team had been lacking, and it has enabled them to make this run to the World Cup final four.

For 20 years, football wasn't coming home for England boss Southgate
At first he "just thought they were celebrating" and was enjoying himself but became frightened when a man began jumping on the vehicle , shattering the sunroof.

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In fact, the ancient oceans that were once dominated by the cyanobacterial started to disappear when algae became prevalent. In their concentrated form, the pigments ranged from blood red to deep purple, going bright pink when diluted.

Croatia's president dances with team after victory against Russian Federation
Even their own fans did not expect them to achieve anything. "It is going to be hard and interesting for both teams". The largest fan zone is in Zagreb's main square, where thousands are expected to watch the game on a giant screen.

Harry Kane insisted England's World Cup elimination at the hands of Croatia "hurts a lot" but believes they should be proud of their achievements and look to build on a "great foundation". However, unlike England at the 1990 tournament, it was again third-time lucky thanks to Mario Mandzukic's 109th-minute goal.

England's campaign had been characterised by fearlessness and an ability to keep hold of possession, in such stark contrast to so many disappointing previous tournaments.

England won both previous encounters with Croatia, beating them 4-1 in Zagreb and 5-1 in London as part of the qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

The fact that this particular England team is the one to reach the semi-finals and not the so-called "Golden Generation" of Lampard/Beckham/Gerrard/Rooney/Scholes etc.is, perhaps, an intriguing one for England fans but suggests that this group is far more of a unit than previous incarnations of the Three Lions. Did we expect to be in this position?

"But we enjoy to play against big teams, as we showed against Argentina, and have nothing to lose". "It's too easy to move on quickly".

England played six games on that occasion, the same as Southgate's men who still have the third-place play-off to add to their tally.

Southgate admitted his opponents asserted themselves better after the game's opening stanza. "We have two days to prepare and we'll want to give a performance of huge pride".

"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", Southgate said ahead of the game on Wednesday, as quoted on Sky Sports. "That will be the challenge".

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