Sports

Croatia wary of 'young, alive, attacking' England ahead of semi-final showdown

Croatia wary of 'young, alive, attacking' England ahead of semi-final showdown

The Croatians are enjoying their best World Cup since coming third at the tournament in France in 1998 and are aiming to keep the festivities going by beating Russian Federation and booking a semi-final berth against either Sweden or England.

They take on Croatia on Wednesday night for a place in the final.

"We think it worked well". Neither of those overall performances, however, were worthy of potential World Cup winners, nor did they seem to do justice to the quality of Croatia's line-up, which is one of the most gifted in Russian Federation.

"It's an adventure", said McNulty.

"Clearly, we wanted to go even further but sadly today we could not", coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, addressing the crowd. They were just 44 minutes away from reaching the final when Suker scored first early in the second half but a Lilian Thuram double won it for eventual champions France.

Thousands of cheering and flag-waving Russian fans thanked their disappointed players on Sunday after the host nation's fairytale World Cup run came to a crushing end with a shootout loss to Croatia.

He also converted a penalty in normal time in the last-16 win over Colombia.

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive". Croatia has never made the Euro semifinals.

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Meanwhile, Dele Alli, who scored England's second goal, said it was a great team performance.

"It wasn't a handsome game, but it was a battle", Dalic said.

Ex-Real Madrid forward Davor Suker, the current president of the country's football federation, was the golden boot victor in 1998 with six goals for a team that also featured AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban, as well as defenders Igor Stimac and Slaven Bilic - both of whom played in England. They're dealing with injuries to their starting right back, their goalkeeper and a handful of other players who could probably use a week in the ice bath.

In England's class of 2018, free kicks, corners and wide crosses are mostly provided by England's wing backs, Young and Kieran Trippier, and they are proving tough to defend.

A World Cup host city must have a hub for fans to meet and watch games on giant screens.

"As soon as I found out there was going to be a reception with the Sbornaya, I dropped everything and drove with my husband to Moscow", said Anastasiya, a fan from Tver who travelled for over three hours to reach the capital.

"Of course there is some power left for the English - we will not stop, we will try to play our best game then", he said.


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