Brave, Confident, Ambitious and unstoppable. Team Croatia are through to the Finals of the Grand tournament after a goal in extra time from Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic.
The unexpected has happened. Croatia, a country with a population nearly half as much as London, are through to the World Cup Finals – for the first time in their history!
Croatia were dominant throughout the game, except for the first 5 minutes when England’s Kieran Trippier scored through a sumptuous Beckham-esque freekick. England continued their early dominance when Jesse Lingard had a chance from just outside the box through a Delli Alli through ball and a John Stones header was blocked off by Croatian Sime Vrsalijko. Apart from that, England’s attack seemed pretty lackluster and they will have to make an inquest as to why they hadn’t tested Subasic more often.
On the other hand, Croatia looked determined to break down England’s defense. They had more possession, more shots on goal and looked dangerous in the final third. Left winger Ivan Perisic was especially sharp and gave England all kinds of trouble down the left flank. He was awarded the Man of the Match after scoring the Karate-kick leveler – and assisting with a back header to Mario Mandzukic in added extra time.
“When you play a semi-final, it is impossible to be tired. You know how much is at stake. We showed that. Apart from against Argentina, that was our best game.” expressed Luka Modric, captain of Croatia.
The odds were against Croatia but they defied them all – and deservedly too – to book their place in country’s first ever final.
England had many positives to take from the tournament as a whole – they are a young side and plenty of their players can look forward to playing in more Major Tournaments in their playing careers. However, the tournament isn’t over for England yet – as they still have a game to play on Saturday against Belgium – for the 3rd place.
The game will be more than just a formality as both sides faced each other earlier in the tournament in the Group Stages – with Belgium edging that game out thanks to a fantastic finish from Adnan Januzaj. England will definitely look to get one back over them this time around.
Meanwhile, Croatia will now face France in the World Cup final and both teams will be looking to get their hands on the trophy – France for the second time and Croatia for the first time. The final game of this World Cup will be held on Sunday 07/15 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
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