Tired and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

Gareth Southgate thinks England could get an even bigger reception than the heroes of 1966 if they manage to win the World Cup.

Adam Lulic said the game was surreal. Rakitic added a late third as Croatia secured their place in the last 16. However, the current president of the Croatian Football Federation had a largely disappointing spell in north London and subsequently with West Ham as he scored only 10 top-flight goals across two seasons.

The opening 15-minute stretch of the overtime ended with the draw of 1-1 as well, but it was Croatia to up the score to 2-1 in the next 15-minute period of the overtime after forward Mario Mandzukic netted the ball.

"It's great to win".

"It's 28 years since England made it to the semi-final, so it's hard to get people to come to a basement", said Jacobs.

Before then, in its World Cup debut in 1998, Croatia did reach the semifinals, where it lost to France.

"Two years ago, I remember what happened two years ago", he said.

Across the city, the Grove Pub and Restaurant on Stafford Street was at capacity with hopeful England fans. So this means more than just a semi-final of the World Cup'.

Instead, the loss left some in tears. I felt something unusual and, after discussion with doctors, we decided I should go off. "We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don't have a proper stadium to play that game".

Peter Corcoran watched on the edge of his seat, alongside his family and friends. I could be with my parents, eating and drinking and watching the game on TV.

"There's an very bad lot of people with their heads down but they should have their heads up". It wasn't about having a good tournament, it wasn't about being happy to be in the top four, so it's a really sad dressing room right now because the opportunity of being in the final was the only focus that we had.

Corcoran said England started well but Croatia was stronger in the end.

As the game dragged on, the crowd tried to rally the team from afar, launching into several renditions of the national anthem "God Save the Queen". They are confident and have a young team.

The French players danced on the field after their victory but toned it down slightly to shake hands with Thierry Henry, who helped Les Bleus win the World Cup in 1998 and is now Belgium's assistant coach.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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