Croatia searches for missing sparks ahead of England clash

Croatia searches for missing sparks ahead of England clash

Croatia searches for missing sparks ahead of England clash

He spent nearly two years out of worldwide football following Russia's group stage exit from the 2016 European Championship but made a surprise return to the national squad in May.

"We watched England and we saw how strong they are", Modric said in the post match press conference after his sides quarter-final victory.

"I was concentrated throughout but after Rakitic's penalty, it came bursting out of me".

The teams then traded two scores each before Ivan Rakitic calmly converted the winning penalty.

On a scorching Saturday that saw England advance further in the World Cup than the home of the handsome game has since 1990 and Croatia take down a dynamo, Russian Federation was on seemingly everyone's lips yesterday - and we don't mean Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of Donald Trump and the adjoining array of Congressional committees. We do not want to stop, we will try to play our best game.

Belgium has never been to the final of a World Cup, but that's exactly what they look poised to do as the highest-ranked team (No. 3 in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings) left in the tournament. The favourites are home now.

"The teams that are hard-working, compact and united are the teams that are still here".

Meanwhile, Croatia's first World Cup semi-final for two decades has revived the memories of the country's football high point and raised hopes that Luka Modric's side can go one better than their legendary predecessors.

"We worked so hard and gave everything we had to get through to the semis".

"He (Southgate) has been a big part of that and wanting us to spend an extra 10 minutes getting to know each other and creating a bond that you don't normally get with everyone spending so much time at your club - and for me that's been a massive factor".

"We are glad that this generation experiences its own 1998, that they can see live what football euphoria looks like ... at least we will not have to explain it to them on YouTube any more", Sportske novosti added.

England have been far more reliant on set-play strategy than fellow semi-finalists Belgium and France, who have struck three goals each from them, while their next opponents Croatia have scored from only one set piece and one penalty.

It is expected that Croatia will shift center back Domagoj Vida into the right back slot, with former Tottenham defender Verdan Corluka slotting into the center of defense alongside Dejan Lovren.

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