Comeback kings Croatia have unfinished business at the World Cup

  • Comeback kings Croatia have unfinished business at the World Cup

Comeback kings Croatia have unfinished business at the World Cup

Southgate asked after the game.

"The 2018 FIFA World Cup will go down in history as one of the most unpredictable tournaments we've ever witnessed".

"But when you get to this point and play as well as we did in the first half, you want to take those opportunities in life, so the dressing room is a very hard place at the moment".

"I always said before the tournament, England have never over-achieving".

Southgate has done well to mask his team's flaws and give them a renewed sense of confidence and identity, but the problems that cost them against Croatia were the same that nearly handed victory to Colombia in the round of 16.

And the last time it played in the final four was 20 years ago, in 1998.

Croatia fans in Zagreb react to key match moments in the World Cup semifinal win over England. "They have an excellent coach and excellent players".

"He's captained the team brilliantly", Southgate said of Kane.

It meant another World Cup semifinal heartbreaker for England, only this time the game was under control before it was lost.

However, they will take on a Red Devils squad that is widely regarded as one of the most talented they have ever possessed. "For us, it was impressive to watch a team such as the English, that is so strong physically, and they couldn't keep up anymore, and we did have that energy".

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman says today's match is being played against a political backdrop.

England's midfielder Jordan Henderson and Gareth Southgate at the Luxhniki Stadium.

Ex-Real Madrid forward Davor Suker, the current president of the country's football federation, was the golden boot victor in 1998 with six goals for a team that also featured AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban, as well as defenders Igor Stimac and Slaven Bilic - both of whom played in England.

Others looked to the future, with BBC journalist Jeremy Vine tweeting: 'On the upside, Gareth Southgate is now free to be prime minister'.

"Their players play at the top clubs".

"Whether that had an effect on us not wanting to take as many chances as we had, subconsciously, I don't know".

He said of his hat-trick: 'I don't think I would be sitting here talking to you having scored three if we would have got beat in the final. "We will try to make sure that we put everything on our side".

England, who made an early impression with a 6-1 crushing of Panama in the group stage, then overcame their shootout hoodoo in beating Colombia in the last 16 and looked composed and mature in the 2-0 quarter-final victory over Sweden.

"They were very happy and did not even realise that I was trapped down there", Cortez, who works for AFP Mexico, told the news service.