Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Four European Teams Battle It Out In Russia

Four European Teams Battle It Out In Russia

Given Croatia had extra time and penalties to recover from, England should come into the game fresher and they also have the edge in previous meetings, winning four of the seven encounters, including a 5-1 victory in their most recent match - a World Cup qualifier in 2009.

England are Croatia's opponents in the final four of the tournament as they bid to reach their first final.

Both teams went on strong offensives testing each other from the onset of the match, but it was England to open the score by England's defender Kieran Trippier going just six minutes into the game.

"Nobody could be any happier than me to play the final against France", the 29-year-old said.

The World Cup semifinal stage is beginning with the all-European lineup being celebrated by soccer's governing body on the continent. Another Subasic save, from Fedor Smolov, and a miss from Fernandes during the shoot-out saw the hosts knocked out and Croatia progress to only their second World Cup semi-final.

Not even a dramatic late spot-kick failure in the last 16 against Denmark could derail Modric's superb tournament, the Real Madrid man a strong contender for the Golden Ball at Russian Federation 2018.

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup
Against a tired Croatian side that has been pushed to penalties in their past two games, England have a clear advantage and will look to Kane to make the most of it.

But they lacked a playmaker of Modric's quality, which raises hopes in the country that the 2018 team can go one step further into the final and possibly even lift the trophy.

Should the same XI that started the game against Sweden line up to face Croatia?How to follow:Live on BBC Radio 5 live, live text commentary online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV. "Everyone was nervous, but when they got a second goal, everyone took so much confidence, everyone was up in the air, the club was full, there was a great atmostphere". "It is going to be hard and interesting for both teams". "We've done enough to get to the semifinal" he said.

England's loss in 1990 was turned into a documentary film and has become a fabled part of the country's "52 years of pain" since their 1966 World Cup triumph.

After the game was won on penalties, that woman, Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, proceeded to make her way into the dressing room and celebrated with the players, still drenched in sweat.

After a collaborative global effort, all of the team were freed after 18 expert divers entered the cave on Sunday and eleven hours later returned having rescued four of the boys. There's a lot we could have done better.

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