A look at what’s ahead in the World Cup

A look at what’s ahead in the World Cup

CROATIA is going nuts about their team's appearance in the World Cup semi-finals - but one group of fans had particular reason to celebrate during their penalty shootout win over Russian Federation.

Following some superb attacking displays, comparisons with the 1998 team that midfielder Ivan Rakitic - who was born in Switzerland to parents who originally hailed from Croatia - remembers so well were inevitably made. "The team gave everything it had to the cause and we can sleep soundly tonight".

"We feel like soldiers conscripted into the army", he said.

And then there were four; the World Cup now has its four semi-finalists after a typically thrilling set of quarter-finals: here are four things we learned as eight contenders for the title were reduced to four.

"It's an adventure", said McNulty. France will take on Belgium in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked nation in the tournament, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union team finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.

England has four wins, two losses and a draw in games against Croatia dating back to 1996.

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive".

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Croatia has never advanced to the championship match.

"We were undermanned in midfield", said Dalic.

In England's class of 2018, free kicks, corners and wide crosses are mostly provided by England's wing backs, Young and Kieran Trippier, and they are proving tough to defend.

"The whole of our nation is euphoric, they are upbeat, there are parties going on when Croatia play, they are out in the squares, out in the cafes... it's great that our president is going to be there tomorrow", Dalic said. Having dragged Russian Federation back into the tie, with the scores level in the shooutout he dragged his effort wide, allowing Ivan Rakitic to slot home three kicks later and give Croatia the victory. "We have played two matches of 120 minutes of football in six days, and of course this will leave a mark on you but. we have shown our character".

Qatar in comparison will be "a city World Cup" and the World Cup is "going to be present everywhere".

Yet they only led for the first time when Domagoj Vida's header found its way into the net through a crowd of players in the first half of extra time.

Peskov said Putin had watched the games remotely.

"There are other teams in the tournament that perhaps have a better collection of individuals".

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