England vs Croatia – Croatia wins semi-final Fifa World Cup 2018 – Match Highlights:
- Croatia won 2-1
- The match went into extra after being level at 1-1 after 90 minutes
- Tripper scored for England with Perisic and Mandzukic scoring for Croatia
- Croatia will play France in the final
Fatigue? What fatigue? Nothing can come in the way of dreams and the Croatian football team showed that to the world on Wednesday after they put in a performance worthy of reaching the final. Trailing after just 5 minutes on the board, Croatia overcame all obstacles in their way to bounce back and score a 109th-minute winner to book their berth in the 2018 world cup final. The result proved to the world that once you have your eyes set on something, nothing can come in its way. In the England vs Croatia match, despite playing two back to back 120 minute matches coming into the semi-final, a Croatia side that was supposed to be sapped of energy, played like this was their first match of the tournament. With their third consecutive match going into extra-time, Croatia never looked fresher; garnering up all of the reserves left in their tank to knock-out a much fancied English side.
An England team that was lucky to reach the semi-finals after getting the easiest fixtures of all the teams in the tournament was suddenly hyped by the English media as if they were gods. With “its coming home” the only thing visible on social media, the English supporters and press were getting ever more and more confident of reaching the final. They were quick to forget that it is prude to count your blessings before they have been delivered. And that is it hurt more than it should have when they came crashing down to a country that didn’t even exist when they last won the world cup.
Playing against a country with a population of just 4 million, an England side that was well rested and relatively much fresher than Croatia was expected to win the second semi-final of the world cup. Boasting of an all-star premier league side, England’s first real test in the tournament was unfortunately for them the only one they couldn’t pass. Starting the match just as they had dreamt of, England raced into one of the fastest leads this world cup after defender Kieran Trippier curled a beauty of a free-kick over the wall. And that is from where England’s mistakes started. Sitting back rather than killing off the game against a Croatian side that was taking time to get into the game turned out to be England’s biggest fault. It didn’t take Croatia long to settle down and play their attractive brand of football. Controlling the midfield with Luka Modric pulling the strings, Croatia equalised in the 68th minute through Perisic. With an extra 30 minutes being played to decide the winner, Croatia showed us all why we love the beautiful game. The country that has made us fall in love with them with their never say die attitude, attacked and attacked with it finally paying off as they got their second of the night to reach their first world cup final.
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