Comeback kings Croatia have unfinished business at the World Cup

Florence Fletcher
July 12, 2018

For the second straight game, an English player scored his first global goal in a World Cup knockout match, this time Kieran Trippier sending a sweet free kick into Croatia's net.

When they finally took their leave and returned to the solitude of the dressing room, it was to absorb the range of emotions they felt on this humid night in Moscow, to learn the lessons of the past month and use them to map out a brighter future.

Speaking on the eve of Croatia's meeting with England, Dalic said: "We are a country where anything is possible, so there are no surprises".

"This is history in the making, we've been waiting for this for so long".

Modric will feature in a midfield that consists of the likes of Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, while Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Dejan Lovren are just some of the names in a Croatian team expected to be England's toughest test yet. Taking to Instagram to share a throwback picture of her man, the mum-of-one said: "This feels like yesterday..."

Crowds gathered in London's Hyde Park, Millennium Square in Leeds, Nottingham Castle, Birmingham's Archway outdoor cinema - and even Los Angeles. "Come on England - it's coming home!"

The loser of today's matchup will face Belgium in the third place play-off on Saturday at 10am ET.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, left, is beaten by a header from France's Samuel Umtiti for the opening goal during the semifinal match between France and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.

The English national team struck first scoring on a curling free kick in the 5th minute by the boot of Kieran Trippier that sent fans back home into a frenzy.

France have improved as the tournament has progressed and go into the game as slight favourites.

Some threw drinks to the ground and stormed out of Ashton Gate Stadium, though some struck a more conciliatory tone.

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My gut is telling me Croatia will win this game. "He [Kane] is top scorer - he's not easy to stop". While the skill of the teams might be pretty similar, their style of play is very different.

"And they're just thinking, "we'll get behind these lads".

"I felt very welcomed".

Max Pemberton, 24, from Gloucester, had worn a waistcoat to watch the match.

He also said that he would be flying to Russian Federation to watch the final, adding: "I'm just waiting on my visa".

"They should have turned up, it's the semi-final of a World Cup. We have had a fantastic journey, further than we thought", he added.

Supporters at Birmingham's Archway outdoor cinema screen broke into applause for Southgate's team within a minute of the final whistle.

"Anyone want a World Cup Final ticket", he asked in another post.

"That speaks volumes in itself. That in future we talk about them", said Blazevic, now 83, and known in Croatia as the "coach of all coaches".

England faltered at that third hurdle with a World Cup final beckoning - the good work undone by exhausted legs and perhaps a withdrawal of ambition to protect a precious lead.

"But you won't get a better chance than this to win the Word Cup".

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are". These are good kids, hopefully they will win it for us.

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