Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Croatia reaches World Cup for 1st time, beats England 2-1

Croatia reaches World Cup for 1st time, beats England 2-1

It was hard to believe that Croatia would approach a World Cup semi-final in what was nearly a hangdog way.

Croatia took over the match after the equalizer and England rarely produced any scoring threats the rest of the way as the midfield of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic had the Three Lions running in circles.

Croatia are playing well but lack the final touch.

Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier of England are dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

He said: "It's nice to be appreciated but it's about the team".

If the start to the match was anything to go by, England were well on their way, with Kieran Trippier lifting a stunning free-kick over the Croatian wall, and then into the back of the net, lifting the spirits of the English in the process.

Man of the match Perisic, admitted it was a hard game but praised his team-mates' perseverance for coming through a successive third knockout game after extra-time.

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And the former Southampton defender reckons Croatia deserved more respect adding, "This feels incredible, especially after everything that was said about us before the game".

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The players meet again on Wednesday when Croatia and England clash and, with a place in the World Cup final at stake, there is no better time and chance for Lovren to finally redeem himself.

Devastated England fans after Croatia scored the winning goal.

Mirror posted an image of dejected England players with the word "HEROES" written in big bold blocks, with the bottom line reading: "We're proud of you all..."

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored the victor in the 109th minute, sweeping home a left-foot shot after England had allowed him too much space in the penalty box.

"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croatian living in Germany as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile on his face.

England had surprised their followers, the nation and other observers with an impressive showing in the World Cup.

"We were louder, they were carrying us, they picked us up when we were not in control of the game", Dalic said of the supporters.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball. Everybody has come. It's the best feeling in a long time".

We have solidarity and unity and the teams that did not have that are now back home.

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