His last World Cup, says Dalic

Rex Christensen
July 12, 2018

Under the clear blue skies of a lovely summer's evening, beer rained down as fans celebrated an early England goal in their first semi-final appearance in 28 years - a prospect which had seemed virtually impossible at the tournament's outset.

Croatia hero Mario Mandzukic called reaching the World Cup final a "miracle" after his side beat England 2-1 in a dramatic semifinal on Wednesday.

"It hurts, I don't know what else to say, it hurts", Kane said after the match. Did we expect to be in this position?

"The dressing room is a hard place at the moment".

"The team haven't really played much together either".

"Twenty years ago I was in my hometown and rooting for Croatia in a national team shirt".

"A lot of people haven't experienced anything like this in a long time".

I don't think any of them could have given any more.

"It's too easy sometimes to move on quickly".

Thai boys shown waving and smiling in first video since rescue
Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said the boys lost an average of 2kg while they were trapped. England defender Kyle Walker sought out the boys' contact information to send them jerseys.

"But, certainly, I'm hugely proud of what they've done".

"I couldn't have asked them to give any more for me or for the country".

England can take much from these momentous last few weeks in Russian Federation, where bonds have been forged behind the gates of their base in Repino, and Southgate's squad have won many admirers with their modest and down-to-earth approach.

With a population of just over four million, Croatia is the smallest nation to reach the final match of a World Cup since Uruguay lifted the title in 1950.

"At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat".

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, left, is beaten by a header from France's Samuel Umtiti for the opening goal during the semifinal match between France and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.

Ex-Real Madrid forward Davor Suker, the current president of the country's football federation, was the golden boot victor in 1998 with six goals for a team that also featured AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban, as well as defenders Igor Stimac and Slaven Bilic - both of whom played in England.

With the game's score tied as of this story's publish, chances are high there will only be more beer spilled as English - and Croatian - fans continue to root avidly for their country's success on the World Cup stage.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article