The Portuguese cut the deficit in the 82nd minute with Eusebio’s penalty but the hosts held on to set up a final against West Germany, whom they beat 4-2 after extra time to lift their only global trophy to date.
But Croatia summoned the strength to come back in the second half, equalising through Ivan Perisic before Mario Mandzukic got the victor in the 109th minute.
England’s Dele Alli (left) and England’s Harry Kane celebrate after the final whistle during the World Cup quarter-final match at the Samara Stadium against Sweden (pic: Tim Goode/PA Images).
That they will have that chance is due in part to their fitness, attitude and finishing quality but also to England’s failure to take full advantage of a totally dominant first half. Although they have come up with goods in the shootouts, it is those 90 minutes where they will need to command their authority over the Three Lions which will be of more relevance.
Croatia heads into this game on the back of penalty shootout wins over Denmark and Russian Federation in the last-16 and quarter-final stages.
England manager Gareth Southgate says he is not about to change his team’s approach for Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia, saying he wants the “same again” from his young side.
Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has also opted to stiffen his midfield and sacrifice one of his offensive players with Marcelo Brozovic replacing Andrej Kramaric in the line-up.
“They played their best, it obviously wasn’t to be”.
Devastated England fans after Croatia scored the winning goal.
I give Lovren credit for rebuilding his Liverpool career after that and there is no doubt that the arrival of Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window helped him to put in a better second half of the season, but I’m still not convinced he can relied upon every time he takes to the field. So, I went to the kit-man and I borrowed a pair of black goalkeeper socks.
“When you have spells, you have to make them count”.
Having looked so comfortable earlier, England’s young side were rattled, and they were lucky not to go behind soon after as Perisic sent a low shot across Jordan Pickford and off the far post.
This group, however, have gone one better and will get the chance to avenge the defeat of 20 years ago when they face the French on Sunday back at the same Luzhniki Stadium.
The semi-final match of the 2018 Football World Cup between Croatia and England will be LIVE telecast on Sony Ten 2/Sony Ten 2 HD (English), Sony Ten 3/Sony Ten 3 HD (Hindi) and Sony ESPN (Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu) TV channels.
Defender Sime Vrsaljko kept the score even by heading a shot off the goal line about 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored.
Four minutes later, Perisic hit Pickford’s near post. They brought two Israeli cancer patients with them, 18-year-old Mika Lipsker and 13-year-old Alon Izraev.
Victoria Lopyreva, an official ambassador for the World Cup and a former Miss Russia, called on Britons on Monday to come to Moscow for the match.
“They should be judged on them as a team”.