Croatia stun England in extra time to book first-ever final berth

Doug Mendoza
July 12, 2018

The physically and emotionally drained Three Lions will travel to St Petersburg for the match following their semi-final defeat, which saw Croatia score in extra-time to win 2-1. We're gutted, we've worked so hard and the fans were wonderful.

Very early on, oddsmakers had the French as the favorites in Sunday's World Cup final. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge.

"We had hoped [for this] and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Croatia fan Ivan Kecerin.

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play in", manager Gareth Southgate said.

"Of course it is going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to assess everybody and to get everybody mentally back to where we want them for a game like that". That felt so good for us here in Russian Federation, and united us more and more, just like it did in our country. My players push me, they are mentally stronger than me.

Meanwhile the England men's U20's team achieved World Cup glory after beating Venezuela 1-0 previous year.

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The French topped Belgium 1-0 in their semifinal matchup on Tuesday to advance to the final and have a shot at winning their second World Cup final (they took the title in 1998). It's clear to everybody the progress that's been made in terms of the level of performance and togetherness of the group. I don't realistically think any of us did. "We've proved to ourselves and our country that is possible".

Even so, he said he would try to lift his team.

England captain Kane told ITV Sport: "It's tough".

"We were louder, they were carrying us, they picked us up when we were not in control of the game", Dalic said of the supporters. "Extra time, I knew it was on the cards we weren't going to win that".

It's the second time the two teams have met at the tournament and the second time that the outcome of their match will be relatively inconsequential.

Other reports by GizPress

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