World Cup Semi-Final 2018: Croatia Buried England’s World Cup Dream

At last England is going home and Croatia has reached their first ever world cup final in their football history.

Football is not obviously coming home but England is surely coming back home. This is their fourth elimination out of five semi-finals at major tournaments.

There is no particular answer why England can’t cross this hurdle. But it seems sometimes, overconfidence kills you.

Did you know, “this is the third time in this world cup that Croatia took the match in extra minutes?”

Source: NY Times

First one was against Denmark in the round of 16 matches and the second one was Croatia-Russia match in the quarter-final.

It was a good start by the three lions. Less than five minutes they won a free-kick in a dangerous spot near the top of the circle of Croat’s goal. Tripper and Young were behind the ball.

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Tripper took the curled shot and the ball itself found the net past the Croat goalkeeper Subasic.

Source: Yahoo Sports

With that goal, Tripper became the second player to score from free-kick in a world cup knock out round. Only David Beckham did this before which was in 2006 against Ecuador.

After scoring that goal, it seemed like England is going to dominate this match.  Because they were continuously attacking the Croatian defense.

The best golden opportunity again came in the 29th minute of the match when Harry Kane missed his best chance. Though it was saved by Subasic.

Source: Bridge Ward

This was not the only miss. After a moment later of Kane’s miss, Lingard joined this party. His shot couldn’t at least find the woodwork. That was far away from the goalpost and Subasic didn’t try to save that one.

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Who is going after that ball when it’s not on target? The Answer is no one. Perhaps, Kane and Lingard are regretting now for those golden chances.

Croatia was also waiting for their opportunity:

You may have heard that proverb, “May hay while the sun shines.” Croatia just did the same.

Finally, the momentum came for Croatia. Virsajko’s cross from the right side just found Ivan Perisic and Perisic beat Pickford with his acrobatic shot by his left foot.

Source: NY Times

Now Croatia leveled the match and the satisfaction at least came for that moment.

Perisic could have scored another in the 72nd minute. Though his low shot beat Pickford, it hit with the post. Then the rebound came back to Mandzukic and he sent it to Pickford’s arms directly.

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After 90 minutes, it was 1-1. So, according to the rules, the play went for the extra time.

In due course, the game began. The legs were tired, the tendons were tight. But they still had the hunger to win. They took themselves beyond their limit and finally, in the 109th minute, Mandzukic scored after so many miss chances.

Source: NY Times

Then the celebration goes on and it is still celebrating. Congratulations Croatia!

 

 

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