Finally, England and Croatia have chance to banish semi blues

WaistcoatWednesday at Shropshire Star HQ

WaistcoatWednesday at Shropshire Star HQ

England fans walk home disappointed after losing to Croatia in the Fifa World Cup semifinals.

The 2018 World Cup marks Croatia fifth time in the globe's premier soccer tournament.

Croatia beat England to book their place in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

There's no reason to believe this growth won't continue as they become yet more familiar playing with each other and on the world stage.

"They haven't been there for 28 years".

Meanwhile pundit Chris Kamara posted a video of himself on a bus with several of the players' family members, after he "nicked a lift to the stadium".

With three straight extra-time matches, Croatia has played the equivalent a full 90-minute match more than France has through six games in Russian Federation. Tonight in the end we weren't quite there but the team will be stronger for that'. Not what's happened in the past.

"It's an unbelievable feeling but we already lost the final two years ago and that's why we feel [the need] to keep our feet on the floor", Lloris said.

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Neither team came to Russian Federation being heralded as favourites but they have produced performances throughout the competition which have shown they were underestimated by the pundits.

The 51-year-old made it his mission to change that and the results have been spectacular, most notably a 3-0 demolition of Argentina in the group stage, although the side has needed penalties to get past Denmark and hosts Russian Federation in the knockout stages.

In their quarter-final clash with Russia, the Croats showed a different side, being willing to slug it out with the Russians for 120 minutes before keeping their cool and winning the shootout in such a partisan atmosphere. The average age of the English squad was under 26, the joint-youngest in the World Cup tournament, and only three of the current players - Ashley Young, Jamie Vardy, and Gary Cahill - are over 30.

Despite taking the lead early in the first half on Wednesday, England suffered the familiar story of World Cup heartbreak as Croatia equalised in the second half and then claimed the victor in the second period of extra time.

Lady Elsie said: "Bob would be thrilled by the progress of this talented England team".

"It was a good game". "We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go".

A nagging worry about England involved whether there is a structural weakness in Gareth Southgate's version of 3-5-2.

"We have come an incredibly long way in a short period of time". There will in time be positives to take, it's very hard now to put that into context, it's a bit too soon, really, because I think you have to suffer the result a little bit.

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