Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

A pair of pals cheer on England in the quater final Sweden showdown AFP Getty Images A pair of pals cheer on England in the quater final Sweden showdown
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 11:32

We're tired but there can be no excuses: we've got to the semi-final, we're here to enjoy ourselves and give our all, we do not want to say we're worn out or exhausted.

"People say I had a hard season but I don't agree with that", Lovren said. Our physical performance coach has tried to keep refreshing the warm-ups for the players and keep them stimulated.

In-fact, 72% of England's goals have come from set-pieces. "We will see after this practice session", he said.

Some England soccer fans sobbed while others looked to the future with confidence after their once improbable dreams of a first World Cup final in more than 50 years were dashed by Croatia on Wednesday.

As Croatia now face France on Sunday to decide who is crowned world champion, England will have a second go at Belgium for the third-place play-offs this Saturday. "There's a lot of ifs and buts". Less than five minutes into Three Lions' match against Croatia, Kieran Trippier opened the scoring with an absolutely gorgeous free kick strike over an insanely wide Croatian wall.

"Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years".

Croatia have yet to lose at this summer's World Cup, having blitzed through the group stage with wins over Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland, before edging past Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties.

But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title.

"Well done Croatia. You were better than us", he posted. "You've made us smile, made us proud, made us believe, every one of you a hero".

On that occasion, the Uruguayans defeated a heavily-fancied Brazil team 2-1 at the Maracana in the final second-stage group game, which effectively served as the tournament's final.

MLS gives us finishes this silly seemingly on the regular, so why does it surprise us when they arrive on our doorstep?

He said: "They were the better team, that's all that happened". They faced Colombia, Sweden and Croatia in the knockout phase, all good teams but none of them a traditional power like Germany or Italy or Brazil, let alone France or Uruguay.