Football is not coming home, Croatia halted England run
All the dream, faith, and English media hype of “It’s coming home”, came to nothing in the end on a decisive night against Croatia in the semi-final. Football is not coming home, Croatia halted England run. Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner takes it away from Three Lions as they reached their first ever World Cup final to meet France at Luzhniki Stadium.
Kieran Trippier gave an early advantage to England from an early free-kick. He strikes brilliantly in the 5th minute to give England lead, but Ivan Perisic ruined his moment with his awareness inside the box giving an extra-touch to the ball with his high boot in the 68th minute.
Utterly choked, but this young side gave absolutely everything. It’s a huge step forward and they’ll only get better in the future. They can hold their heads high, they did our country proud. Congratulations to Croatia.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018
It ends all square in normal time and Mario Mandzukic gave Croatia victory in extra-time. He was aware of the ball in the box coming, whereas England’s defender John Stones was just happy to move in the different direction. Mandzukic capitalize with his awareness winning the game for Crotia.
Mandzukic has very few touches in the game, but for these game defining moments he wasn’t substituted. He even has few knocks but Croatia chooses to stay him on the pitch and he proved decisive when Croatia needed him most.
England has their first stern test at this World Cup and they’re not poor. They started very well getting an early goal in a brilliant way and they created chaos in opposition camp. Croatia were on the back-foot in the first-half of the game.
Three Lions were all over in their penalty box. If Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, and Raheem Sterling could have finish well, England already have been 3-0 or 4-0 up in the first-half itself.
Croatia dominated the game in the second-half. They raised their bar which was always possible with likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic playing in their midfield. Vatreni’s only weak point was in the match that Ivan Rakitic keep chasing the ball as a central-striker rather than a midfielder and Croatia were missing him in the midfield in initial period the game.
Once second-half started, it all goes back to normal way. Croatia calm down and put pressure on England. Ivan Perisic pushed himself hard to raise a high-boot and Croatia had their lead. It wasn’t a fault on anyone, goal stands. It’s level.
It really took the game away from Three Lions as well. it’s coming home turned into we’re coming home tonight. England players didn’t push themselves hard to get past one last hurdle to book the place in final against France.
4 – England have now been eliminated in four of their five semi-finals at major tournaments, losing each of the last four in a row (Euro 1968 v Yugoslavia, World Cup 1990 v Germany, Euro 1996 v Germany and World Cup 2018 v Croatia). Crushed. #ENGCRO #ENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/XzAE8zGD5Y
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 11, 2018
Croatia really hit them hard, but England have had their chances. They could have taken it to the penalties if John Stones wouldn’t have been sleeping on the pitch. Mandzukic run could have been easily blocked, but we don’t know why Stones wasn’t aware there.
He must be ready to suffer the troll back home and before that he must face twitter trolling. The bitter end of the story is “Football is not coming home”, not this time. Maybe they’ll be better prepared next time with little more experience.
Congratulations to Croatia, for reaching their first ever World Cup final. It may be their revenge time. Last time they reached World Cup semifinal was in 1998, and then they’re defeated 2-1 by eventual winner France. If Croatia can bear the pressure of playing in a World Cup final, they may become the underdogs who will lift FIFA World Cup 2018 trophy at Luzhniki Stadium, on July 15.