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Russian Federation celebrates team's run despite World Cup exit

09 July 2018, 11:46 | Anna Jefferson

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Modric-cropped

Dalic was full of praise for the Barcelona midfielder, saying Rakitic was in career-best form heading into a last-four clash with England on Wednesday. The national team's unexpected run to the quarterfinals sparked a surge of support from fans who had been mostly indifferent before the World Cup started. He said that what we showed on the field was great. "At this point we will not give up anything and will play against England with all the enthusiasm and passion of Croatian football".

The long-suffering Russians entered the biggest event in sport as its lowest-ranked nation but ended up coming up just short of reaching their first World Cup semi-final in 52 years.

Sadly for Fox and soccer fans, there's a few days of World Cup silence until France take on Belgium on July 10 and then England v. Croatia the next day. Other than Perišić (29) though, the trio are all the wrong side of 30 and may not see another World Cup.

Even if Southgate's team reach the final, William will not attend the match because of Britain's diplomatic boycott of the World Cup in Russian Federation over a nerve agent attack in England this year.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has said his side have already "managed to stop Messi" and so can cope with England's Harry Kane in Wednesday's semi-final.

The Barcelona midfielder scored the victor from the spot in the tense shoot-out against Denmark after goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three penalties, and then kept his cool again last night to send Croatia into the semi-finals and set up a tasty encounter with England.




Modric and Rakitic were decisive in the shootout but didn't play up to expectations in regulation and extra time, unable to create many significant chances for Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic up front.

Croatia, despite being sluggish in the knockout stages, have been effective, and have matched the feats of Davor Suker and Co from 1998.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported how England's Three Lions defeated Sweden 2-0 margin courtesy of two headed goals from Harry Maguire's 30th minute and Dele Alli's 59th minute during Saturday's quarterfinal fixture to book passage into the semifinals of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Croatia often looked reluctant to attack and Modric's words after the game hinted at a lack of adventure that will surely cost them sooner or later. The South Americans were aggressive, intelligent and cohesive, but there were times after Raphael Varane's opening goal when France effectively held them at arm's length. We have two matches to play.

The national team has been gaining followers and drawing increasing political attention from government leaders with every win. Southgate's young side - they are the third youngest in the tournament - are marginal favourites against Croatia in the semi-finals.



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