Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Finally, England and Croatia have chance to banish semi blues

Finally, England and Croatia have chance to banish semi blues

Croatia will be without their right-back Sime Vrsaljko when they face England on their semi-final match of the Russia World Cup 2018 at Luzhniki Stadium.

Croatia had also needed spot-kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last-16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

But Belgium was eliminated by France in the first of the World Cup semifinals, a pathway through the knockout stage that England avoided.

"Only football can make all Croatians go out to the streets".

"It's the best run I've ever seen in my lifetime, so obviously pretty upsetting the way that it went", said Stu Hutchinson. "All the fears that some were trying to put on us with regards to this World Cup, well not only they were not true but it's actually the opposite". Modric had four years at White Hart Lane before going to Madrid while, incredibly, Spurs have nine players in the World Cup semi-final. Rakitic added a late third as Croatia secured their place in the last 16. We have shown character.

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I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off. We do not want to say we are worn out . "This is maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

"France were in the final of the Euros - nearly they are used to being in these sort of big games, and I thought we coped with that side really well, so I don't want any of my players to be frustrated, disappointed". They are two great players, everyone knows that.

"We prepared to get to the final and we want to play it". He guided the team to the quarter-finals of the competition in 2014 when they were beaten 1-0 by tournament winners Germany. For many Croatians, the Yugoslav Wars - that ended with the formation of their country - started with one.

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. At that time, we had a lot of players at the best clubs in the world, and that's the case now so we are happy. All 20 previous World Cup-winning coaches were born in the nation they led to the title.

Bilic, who is presently out of work having been sacked by Premier League side West Ham last season, experienced some of the highs and the lows with the Croatian players such as being seconds away from the Euro 2008 semi-finals only for Turkey to level and progress on penalties. "We worked hard. I scored but we delivered a good match and I'm very proud of everyone".

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