Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Croatia reach final as England throw it away

Croatia reach final as England throw it away

First of all I'm so proud of this team and staff for giving everything we could over a long period of time together.

Not since the European Championships of 1996 had England reached the semi-final stage of any major football tournament and it was the first time they had made it that far in the World Cup since 1990.

Dalic was asked by worldwide reporters if his side would be exhausted for Sunday's final against France after playing extra-time for a third straight match - just as British journalists asked him if they would be exhausted after two lots of extra-time before the semi-final.

"We had hoped (for this) and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Ivan Kecerin, 41.

For England, who captured so many hearts with their run to the semifinals, there will be the same disappointment that has haunted them at big tournaments across the world for 52 years. and counting.

Germany are 5/1 (6.0) to bounce back from a shock World Cup exit by returning to winnings ways.

But the untelevised footage certainly showed the extent England were willing to go to score against Croatia to keep their World Cup hopes alive. "They have to use this experience for benefit and I know that what´s happened over the last few weeks will make them a stronger team".

From the moment Kieran Trippier put England ahead to Croatia's equaliser, Mario Mandzukic's victor and then the full-time whistle.

Perisic scored for Croatia mid way through the second half to take it to extra time.

Vrsaljko, who plays for Atletico Madrid, had struggled to be ready for the match after playing in two previous extra-time matches, but he found the strength to lift his exhausted, battered team to a comeback win. We thought we were just good enough, we thought we could have done that. We expect the most hard game of this World Cup.

This stretched the pitch out to England's advantage with the Croatian defenders understandably wary of playing a high line that Sterling's pace could break.

The Barcelona midfielder was not impressed with England fans" constant uttering of the words "it's coming home', and he gave them a message after Croatia sealed their progression through to the final.

England had got off to a flying start when Trippier curled a superb free kick into the top corner in the opening minutes.

"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", he said.

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