Croatia beat England to reach World Cup Final

Are Croatia any good at football? World ranking and World Cup record of England opponents

For England, it is a chance to reach the final for the first time since their World Cup winning campaign at home in 1966, more than a generation ago.

Before this game, Jordan Henderson hadn't been on the losing side in any of his last 30 England matches (W23 D7), the longest unbeaten run of any England player in history. They should be more humble and respect their opponents more.

Despite all the talk of England's placement on the "easier" side of the playoff tree, or the fact that they appear to rely on set-pieces for a large percentage of goals, the fact remains that they are in a World Cup semi-finals, a position they would have grasped with both hands at the onset of Russian Federation 2018.

Playing in a 3-5-2 formation, England are the third youngest team in the tournament and head coach Gareth Southgate has done his utmost to lower the expectations.

"We have shown character, we've shown belief and I think that's what is going to get us over the line in this game".

Keane replied: 'I don't mind you being happy, but you were getting carried away.

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Ivan Perisic has scored four goals at the World Cup for Croatia - only Davor Suker (six) has more.

The Three Lions' run to the final four has included victories in 90 minutes over Tunisia, Panama and Sweden, a penalty shootout win against Colombia, and a defeat to Belgium.

"Before the game, the whole talk was about the final, the final", began Keane, directing his comments at Wright.

Neither team came to Russian Federation being heralded as favourites but they have produced performances throughout the competition which have shown they were underestimated by the pundits.

The Germans and English scored all of their first three penalties, with Brehme, Lothar Matthaeus, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Lineker, Peter Beardsley and Platt.

"There is still a lot to play".

England midfielder Henderson hopeful over fitness ahead of Croatia clash
Another stellar display came on Saturday to help Gareth Southgate's side overcome Sweden and reach their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years.

England could not have imagined a better start.

"Let me tell you, whether we win or lose the game, my life will not change", he said.

Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic when through, then forced the rebound against a post and Raheem Sterling was a constant thorn in the Croatia defence, though again his final ball was too often astray. But there is less pressure on them now.

But Croatia, having won on penalties against Denmark and Russian Federation in the last two rounds, saw the game out, dousing the World Cup dream of Gareth Southgate's side that had gone from the improbable to the possible over the last month in Russian Federation. "We're looking forward to the future", said Young.

The fact that Croatia have had to play so much football could perhaps give England an edge, all the more so given the injury problems faced by Dalic.

While left-back Ivan Strinic is certain to start, Croatia's preferred right-back Sime Vrsaljko is yet to fully recover from a knee injury suffered during the game against Russian Federation.

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They now they have the chance to use their tactical intelligence and mental strength against a formidable France team on Sunday.

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