England Have Been Warming Up With Rubber Chickens Ahead Of Croatia


The dream ended for supporters in Moscow and at home as Gareth Southgate's men lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final after extra time.

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.

Croatia's Ivan Perisic tied the score in the 68th minute with his fourth goal of the tournament. "I wanted to make substitutions but nobody would come off". We showed that we were the better team in all segments of the game.

"What the players did today, the strength, energies levels, was incredible", he said.

He said: "We've been in the pub since 6am this morning trying to get the pub ready. Going to extra-time might be a problem along with the fact France have had an extra day to recover but there will be no excuses", he added.

Both of his goals came from set-plays, and given he is averaging 0.29 xG per 90 minutes, he can be expected to get at least one chance in this game.

England's Harry Maguire and manager Gareth Southgate after the FIFA World Cup, Semi Final match at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

Football won't be coming home to England as Croatia found their spark in the second half and Extra Time to down the Three Lions and move on to the final.

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"For us, it was an opportunity to do something which only one team in our nation's history has ever done".

"It's a huge step forward and they'll only get better in the future", he tweeted. "I'm going to a wedding on the weekend, I have to drive to the airport soon to pick up my cousin who's flying in from Toronto, I have to make dinner, and I'm still here watching the game".

Gifted a relatively soft draw by the early exit of a number of traditional World Cup superpowers, England reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 1996, when Southgate was part of the team.

"Maybe (that was) a effect of being ahead and being the least experienced team in the tournament with the chance to get to a World Cup final", he added. Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic said.

England supporters have been notably sparse in Russian Federation so far, deterred by warnings of possible violence and logistical difficulties.

"We played a high press on their backline".

"They have broken through a number of barriers over the last few weeks".