Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By

England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

Modric, along with Mario Mandzukic, are the 32-year-olds who have propelled Croatia to its first major soccer final. "And they're just thinking, "we'll get behind these lads". I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off.

He added: "France are top-drawer". "I wanted to make substitutions but nobody would come off. Only great teams can be as courageous as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England", said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday's final after their 2-1 extra-time win.

France have improved as the tournament has progressed and go into the game as slight favourites.

Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russian Federation via a play-off win against Greece.

That's proved to be the case, although they have relied on large part on grit and determination to see them through the knockout stages, beating Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties before seeing off England in extra time.


Among the best was Marcelo Brozovic, the Inter Milan midfielder brought into the line-up to provide extra steel in front of the defence. "But it was Europe which won, and it would be amusing if we were to beat the English", said 45-year-old Francois Garnier who watched the game near the Eiffel Tower. There's a lot we could have done better. "I told the players before the game there was no pressure - we have reached the semi-finals, enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did". France did its part Tuesday by beating Belgium, a more experienced side loaded with talent, and five minutes into Wednesday's match against Croatia, England was following the same script.

Dozens of people took to Winnipeg streets to chant and sing following a viewing party at St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Parish on Main Street.

The Hyde Park screening was the largest of its kind for an England game since 1996, when the country hosted the European Championship and the team made the semi-finals.

He played down his own achievement, saying: "It is not important who scores, only that Croatia win". He will just be hoping that all of them are fit enough for one last effort against a fearsome French side.

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