Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Tired and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

Croatian President celebrating after their second goal grabbed all eye-balls Croatian President celebrating after their second goal grabbed all eye-balls
Rita Gibson | 12 July, 2018, 07:16

Ecstatic Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is confident tiredness will not be an issue for his side when they face France in the World Cup final despite once again coming through extra time to beat England on Wednesday.

That form for club has been carried on for his country at the World Cup in Russian Federation, where Modric has been one of the players of the tournament and guided his side to a first semi-final since 1998.

In order to win, England will need to contain Modric, who is involved in nearly every Croatian attack, controlling the pace, and scoring twice, including in the impressive 3-0 win over Lionel Messi's Argentina.

Croatia now have the chance to take revenge on France after losing 2-1 in Paris when the sides met in the semi-finals back in 1998 - Dalic travelled to that World Cup as a fan.

The match for the bronze of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played in St. Petersburg on July 14 between the national football teams of Belgium and England.

Dozens of people took to Winnipeg streets to chant and sing following a viewing party at St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Parish on Main Street.

"Two years ago, I remember what happened two years ago", he said.

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Match-winner Samuel Umtiti is targeting World Cup glory as he attempts to erase the memory of his Euro 2016 heartache. 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.

"I think for the Croatia team, our biggest pressure was beating Denmark in the last 16". This shows character and is what makes me proud. They are in the better half of the draw and we have a proper team, full of quality, full of experience.

The Croatian national anthem was the first to be played before the match at the nearly full-house 80,000-seat Luzhniki Area kicked off. "But hopefully we can do our jobs on Wednesday as a team and individuals and contain them".

"We deserved to reach the final". For many Croatians, the Yugoslav Wars - that ended with the formation of their country - started with one.

Here Press Association Sport looks at five of the best Croatians to have played in England.

Sunday's World Cup final begins at 10 a.m. CT.

Seconds after the initial whistle, England demonstrated their ability to overpower Croatia, racing towards the opposition box to create their first of many threatening opportunities.

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