Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By

Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

The Three Lions lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final, bringing to an end a journey that inspired - and surprised - many fans. He returned Wednesday to cheer on Croatia with almost 500 of his closest friends.

The former Manchester United and England full-back thinks that Kane, who has six goals to his name and could still win the Golden Boot, must have been carrying a knock.

Croatia looked vulnerable from set-pieces against Russian Federation, conceding the equaliser in extra-time via a set-play, so this is an area England can exploit.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic believes his side were better "in all segments of the game" as they beat England to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Kieran Trippier couldn't hold back the tears as he realised England's World Cup dream was over.

This time around, we could see the stars play, or we could see some more reserves to get some guys some minutes, and that makes picking here hard.

Gareth Southgate's team opened the scoring at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Croatia turned things around and will now face France in Sunday's showpiece finale.

Their next game, the last of this year's World Cup, will undoubtedly be the biggest sporting moment in the history of Croatia since becoming an independent nation in 1991.

Dalic's side were clearly exhausted, but they managed to fight on to the end of two hours of gripping football to take the country of just over four million people into the final for the first time.

"But when you get to this point and play as well as we did in the first half, you want to take those opportunities in life, so the dressing room is a very hard place at the moment".

But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title. Look at the other teams they'll be up against.

They will, however, have to reflect on a glorious opportunity to reach a World Cup final that has been wasted.

Harry Kane confirmed his reputation as a striker of high quality and John Stones looks to be developing into the class act so many have expected for so long.

From Southgate's perspective, though, a third-placed finish will add to the sense of achievement and pride and at least allow England to leave Russian Federation on the high most will agree they have deserved.

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