Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Croatia Are Through To The Semi-Finals After A Penalty Shootout

Croatia Are Through To The Semi-Finals After A Penalty Shootout Croatia Are Through To The Semi-Finals After A Penalty Shootout
Kristopher Love | 11 July, 2018, 22:29

Croatia players toasted their World Cup quarter-final victory over Russian Federation on Saturday evening by singing patriotic songs on the team bus home and back at their hotel.

Talisman Modric suggested that it was destiny for the match to be decided by a penalty shootout, their second in two knockout matches after overcoming Denmark on spot-kicks in the round of 16.

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it".

"We're grateful for the emotions, our hearts are broken, but thank you to everyone who supported us...", he said, before breaking off the interview.

"In the last couple of days we played two games that lasted 120 minutes so we are very exhausted", Dalic said.

"This generation has been underrated due to their results but they've had the quality and now they are showing it".

"My allegiance is with England, my home country, but of course this has been my home for the last 15 years so I'm looking forward to a very special night". It was a one-sided affair really where Sweden struggled to the see the ball as Gareth Southgate's men dominated and subjugated the Swedish side 2-0.

"They play for big clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan".

Some stores will close early to enable employees to watch the match, which starts at 1800 GMT, with various concerts, plays and cinema shows cancelled.

Dalic blamed Croatia's opponents for smothering the creative talents of Luka Modric and said he expected a more open match in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Despite his off-field troubles, Modric been an admirable leader for his team on the field, allowing them to match the great side of 1998 that reached the last four in France. Taken off just past the half-hour mark in Liverpool's 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, the Croatian defender's performance came under intense scrutiny.

"He's obsessed with Harry Kane". "It's completely irrelevant, that one defeat against Spurs".

"Why didn't you ask me how I played well against him in other games?"

"I've got the utmost respect for him - he's been banging goals in for Spurs for several seasons - but he's not alone, his team-mates play at top clubs, so it will be hard".

"We believe in our strengths", the 51-year-old told a press conference.