Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Perisic hails dream goal as Croatia reach final

Dance magic dance Three Lions: how England's World Cup fever has driven a 20-year-old anthem to the top of the charts
Kenny Thornton | 12 July, 2018, 13:29

With the game's score tied as of this story's publish, chances are high there will only be more beer spilled as English - and Croatian - fans continue to root avidly for their country's success on the World Cup stage.

Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the World Cup 2018 here.

From one group of Lions to another, this is exactly the type of breakthrough that fans in Detroit are patiently waiting and hoping for.

England's players have been described as "heroes" and "national treasures" by the Daily Mirror while the Daily Express thanked the team for their efforts.

England's run to the last four, where they will face Croatia, has come as a huge surprise given Southgate's relative lack of experience in management and the fact the team lost to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016.

Southgate was so demoralised by his penalty kick failure against Germany in the 1996 European Championship semi-finals, he avoided The Lightning Seeds 'Three Lions, ' the team's official song when they hosted the tournament.

"It was just a bit of fun to get them moving in some of the mobility exercises".

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Southgate and his England side have won the hearts of a nation despite suffering World Cup heartbreak. It has a slightly different feel for me, but it's nice to hear people enjoying it again.

"Whether that had an effect on us not wanting to take as many chances as we had, subconsciously, I don't know". If you've got one or two players the you've got a situation where you can ease them during the first two weeks of the season.

"They've done incredibly well, it's the best tournament I've ever watched".

England scored yet another set piece goal on Wednesday to earn an early 1-0 lead over Croatia in the World Cup semifinal. "Only great teams can be as fearless as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England", Mandzukic said.

"The players will be thinking "I want to go home - I've done my job" - the game is a testimonial-type game", he said.

Technically not a moment on the pitch but we just needed to dedicate a section to England manager Gareth Southgate's waistcoats.

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