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Croatia beats England 2-1 to reach World Cup final for 1st time

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By RONALD BLUM

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Well, that was fun while it lasted.

A defeat for England but one with honour and hope for the future. A great performance from Croatia, full of grit and character to come back and win. Good luck to them in the final.

Congo

Lol. Comedy troll is comical.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Croatia, the little country that could.

Great match.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

A semi-final is probably the pinnacle of England's ability and a successful tournament. And let's be honest, Southgate was praised for beating Sweden and winning penalties against Colombia.

The Croatian coach has to be applauded for his change of tactics after half-time. But there again, if Kane or Lingard had put their chances away it should have been 2-0 at half time and possibly a different outcome.

I am kind of relieved. A World Cup final would have been fun, but England facing Mbappe, Greizmann, Pogba, Verane etc? No chance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They think its all over.... it is now. Not comin home ;o(

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's going abroad! Croatia played better and deserved it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A great performance from Croatia, full of grit and character to come back and win

A pretty physical team, aren't they? I was impressed by the Croats' work rate - they chased every ball down like a pack of retrievers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No idea what the half time words from Croatia's manager were, but in normal and extra time they both worked wonders! Thought England looked stronger in both first halves, but Croatia were all over them in the second halves. Very strange game...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We're just a creative midfielder or two away from being a decent team

Yes. Not too many schemers in that side. A sane Gascoigne type emerging over the next few years would be nice.

I’d say a class centre-half would be welcome too.

Anyway, a decent show by that young side. Well done.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Or are u one of those who were dazzled by England's performance so far?

There was nothing to be dazzled by. They were a decent, organised unit who did well. Credit where it is due.

i have been doing for decades. I just will never accept the 'oh but we poms are different (as in better) from the rest of you, son' bs

The ball tampering in the cricket and childish bawling on TV was funny though, wasn’t it? Particularly after hearing about fair play for decades. As you said, taking the high ground can be hypocritical no matter what the sport is.

Overall, England’s conduct was pretty decent in this tournament. I’d say Neymar and Mbappe are leading the charge for the Oscars up to now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well done Croatia! Here’s hoping they are soon crowned World Champions! They dug deep and found 2 goals. Just glad it didnt go to penalties.

Great Cup from the Three Lions. With the youngest team tyere, they will only get better now and will be a big chance next time.

@ old man - time to let it go about the cleaning up, that story has had its 5 minutes and its become tedious

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What a lame final...Croatia vs France?

Nothing lame about it. France are a very good side. Croatia are a very good side. Some sensational players on both sides. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy watching Modric in particular doesn’t appreciate football.

Who did you want to see? Wales v USA in the final with Italy v Scotland for third place?

Just thank your lucky stars we don’t have Italy boring the planet to death for 120 minutes.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Frustrating after half time! Croatia grew into the game, chased it more and punished our sloppiness. They deserved it in the end, I hope they beat France now.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Horrible being at work today after being so close to the final, but still thankful to the players for a fine effort and a lot of fun getting here. We're just a creative midfielder or two away from being a decent team I feel. Wish I had been in England this past few weeks, there's no better place to be when the sun is shining and the World Cup is in full swing.

Congrats to Croatia for a mammoth effort, hope they can climb the mountain again and somehow get past France

3 ( +5 / -2 )

England was well organized but the flair was with the Croats -- the way they kept the ball in play was more creative and daring.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Given the farce around the FA and English football in recent years, Southgate has worked a miracle to get them popular again. The "its coming home" has partly been a reaction to what came before. For the first time in years, we have a likable team worthy of getting behind.

I don't think he got it right tactically, but we got this far and that is something to celebrate. With the easy ride England had to the semi and an early goal in the game, it is a wasted opportunity though. Going forward, I would not assume that this system is going to get the best out of Kane, Sterling, and Alli, who all play much better for their clubs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Coming home? Losers!!!!!!

Japanese and Congo fans 

Wrong country oldman. Google's a godsend.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Peeping Tom, you said

Spent the whole evening listening to the punditry of Linecker, Righ, Ferdinand and Co.,

And then made another comment about the BBC, which is why I'm confused.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We had a very young team (not sure if true but some saying the youngest in the tournament) that not really any English expected anything from at all going into the tournament, so yeah i'm proud of the way they held themselves. There's never an easy game in the WC as such, who would've expected the performances Morocco and Iran put in? The bitter Jocks coming out are making me laugh, they can only dream of getting a semi, even a soft one!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Anyone saying we got an easy ride there, how did the other 'big' boys get on eh? Yeah that's right, times have changed because more international players from less expected teams are playing in more competitive leagues across the globe.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They've been rubbishing pretty much all teams re diving/cheating etc during this wc

They haven't been rubbishing all teams, they've been full of praise for lot's of teams. And in the Colombia game the pundits were scathing of some English players. The players that you mentioned have been particularly shamed for their antics in the Premier League.

No one's going to make me believe that Eng media/pundits/fans didn't think (as in 'firmly believe') they had the team to win the whole thing.

Again, you confuse 'some', with 'all'. I can assure you that the majority of us were fairly certain that we'd go out in calamitous fashion. But when you reach the last four, people get a bit giddy and start to dream. Apparently, we aren't allowed to do that without it being seen as arrogant. Please do not confuse the attitude of the media with that of the players or fans.

Anyway, we had a brill few weeks and it was great to be involved in the latter stages of the tourno for the first time in almost 30 years.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There’s this English manager called Sam Allardyce. He could be just the job. He took over at my club last season after a Dutch manager made an absolute mess of things.

Might be worth a go.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

5 for England lost the game.

John Stones. He was caught ball-watching.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At last - a good reason to support the French at something.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Spent the whole evening listening to the punditry of Linecker, Righ, Ferdinand and Co., wonder what JT experts would make of the fact our English analysts barely mentioned Croatia in their "analysis"; it was ALL about England missing a chance to win the WC!!! As if France did not exist nor is actually going to play on Sunday's final. It's not only the Japanese, yer no wat I'm sayin bruv?

I think so, but it’s very uninteresting as far as I can understand it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those missed chance sin the first half came back to haunt us.

Oh well, it was fun and we did much better than we thought.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe, but "chauvinism" is alive and kicking, particularly on the BBC.

That's interesting, considering this game was on ITV. How did you listen to LIneker? He's not on ITV, with Wright et al.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

English media reaction's priceless! "we should be proud of the lads, a team that united the nation etc". Yeah, nah, you guys have been spruiking 'it's coming home' bs for weeks now, derided other sides etc.

Curious how rattled the neighbours get when England have the temerity to actually to enjoy a tournament. Are English people not allowed to dream, hope and enjoy it? Is your team so abject that you can only find joy in the eventual failure of ours?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

That's why I made 2 separate statements.

I saw the game on the ITV, just like almost everybody else in London. Then listened to the pundits across the board.

Don't get me wrong; I want England to do well! I just don't buy this exaggerated nationalism that was permeating the whole country, particularly I could see that the team was not looking like world beaters; blame that on the fact that I don't drink alcohol!

Let's wait for September and this new UEFA Nations League.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

England is the 3rd youngest squad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@goldorak, refreshing to chat to someone on here who can actually give and take a position.

Also agree with what you wrote regarding teams' conduct. Hopefully the new VAR system will make the games 'fairer' and lead to less bad blood between teams. As an Englishman, we've been dumped out of 4 world cups through hand balls, disallowed goals, dodgy red cards and diving (and won one possibly because of a dodgy goal!) And we are by no means the only ones. Ask the Americans in 2002 or any team that plays Germany in the later rounds. In '86 when Maradona did his Hand of God thing it ruined a perfectly good tournament for a very promising team. And it took the English until 2002 to get 'revenge' from a dodgy Michael Owen dive in Sapporo. Ideally we wouldn't have to have either injustice in the future. I truly hope that this tournament is a turning point for the sport, and the teams and characters that have used diving, kicking, holding, grabbing and the other dark arts. For once it is nice to exit a WC without feeling like we've been stitched up!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

listening to the punditry of Linecker,

what a blow hard!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Glad to hear the end of "it's coming home"!

I'm afraid to tell you that you'll never hear the end of it, ever. Look forward to your fab predictions for the next tournament though.

@Peeping, should be interesting. I don't know if this is just an attempt to make friendlies more relevant, or a power push from UEFA. Either way, I can't see managers using these games for anything else than preparation for the Euro qualifiers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A sane Gascoigne type emerging over the next few years would be nice.

Haha! I'll take a regular semi-insane Gazza for a few years. Shame we didn't have Llalana & The Ox fully fit for this WC, they would have been a real help today.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

England bottled it. In the end the better team won so congrats to Croatia, well deserved. Yugo football has produced some of the best footballers i have seen in my life and it's about time a Slavic nation finally gets to play a WC final.

Am with Irvine Welsh: "Beat Tunisia, Paraguay and Sweden. Drew with Colombia. Lost to Belgium and Croatia. When the dust settles and people get past the emotion there were actually no real surprises from England."

English media reaction's priceless! "we should be proud of the lads, a team that united the nation etc". Yeah, nah, you guys have been spruiking 'it's coming home' bs for weeks now, derided other sides etc. No one's going to make me believe that Eng media/pundits/fans didn't think (as in 'firmly believe') they had the team to win the whole thing. They sure did, but they were wrong.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I already did; England came a cropper against real contenders.

Or are u one of those who were dazzled by England's performance so far?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Exactly where did I state that I saw today's match on the BBC?

Chauvinism, BBC, Linecker, Righty & Co., are not necessarily linked you know?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

ClippetyClop: Apparently, we aren't allowed to do that without it being seen as arrogant. Please do not confuse the attitude of the media with that of the players or fans.

Perhaps you shouldn't confuse your own attitude with that of most other fans. Your own comments here are sound and well-reasoned. The same is absolutely not true for the vast majority of England supporters I've been around, who have typically been arrogant and condescending throughout. They'd fit right in with this crowd:

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/07/england-world-cup-sweden-fans-ikea-london-video-response-croatia

0 ( +3 / -3 )

England entered the tournament with a particularly unfancied team that was not expected to progress far. Two years ago England was beaten by Iceland and 4 years ago did not even make it out of the group stage.

To get to the semi finals is a decent run for any team. Yes, England had an easier run, but that was partly because small nations were knocking out large ones.

Good performance the first half - should have got a second but fell apart in the 2nd.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@CC, fair enough. Actually agree with what you wrote.

I follow a few eng sports sites on twitter (bbc sports, 442, sporf etc) which may explain why I thought that all/most english folks had been watching wc games through St George's Cross-tinted glasses (the gifs, memes, "kane's the best" stuff, comments etc). I get your point though, doesn't mean all/most of you did too. And tbf, the few very good english mates i have aren't arrogant nor overly patriotic either (not with me anyway).

@jimizo, no worries.

Re teams' conduct on the pitch, I tend to think that all/most teams waste time, dive, cry etc when they have to defend a one-goal advantage with 10-15min to go. That's perhaps why many of us non-spaniards/italians think that real, barca and, before them, Italian teams are the biggest cheats in football? They often win, we often don't. But imo things have changed in the last 15-20 years; other sides & their fans got sick and tired of being 'gallant losers' and have sort of 'OKed' diving/wasting time if that means winning games/trophies (let's be honest, happens week in week out in all leagues). Winning sides tend to cheat/waste time. That's the way i see it anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks to foreign players and trainers the PL locals learned that the game, supposedly invented on the island, was innovated abroad and that the skills of the lads lifted in that process. Admitting that is contrary with the English psyche :)

I don’t think I’ve ever met one English football supporter who doesn’t agree that English football was improved by input from managers from abroad.

Saying that, England were a bloody awful side to watch under Capello. Really dull, negative and miserable. I’d actually go as far as calling it Italian but I can’t remember any bribed refs or fixed matches.

Best to pick and choose from the continent. Some are even duller than we are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Saturday 8 September

League A

Group A2: Switzerland v Iceland (18:00)

Group A4: England v Spain (20:45)

Friday 12 October

League A

Group A2: Belgium v Switzerland (20:45)

Group A4: Croatia v England (20:45)

What about that for starters?

Sweet as a nut.

https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/news/newsid=2530253.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I only want Croatia to win and be a champion this World Cup. I really want a new country to be champion in the history of FIFA, to show that association hasn't tendencies with political affairs to always be the same countries going to to the final and be champion. FIFA history should change and be more credential to we fans understand how much football is globally an exciting and attractive sport.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Croatia could be the smallest nation to win the World Cup since Uruguay

0 ( +0 / -0 )

World Cup is rigged, who can prove it? of course no one, but the teams seem like actors half the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

England choked. I was so disappointed. Took me a few days to get over it. I am an American but I root for the English. Team England had more potential than shown in that outing with Croatia. England just could not execute anything all match long. Got beaten by a better team. Any predictions out there? Who's taking home the Golden ball?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've just seen a freshly released video showing England attempting to score whilst Croatia players celebrated outside the pitch; only the Croatian goalkeeper was in goal. The referee had to blow the whistle, to stop what would have been probably the biggest scandal EVER in the world of football.

I never thought I would live to see so much dishonesty from England; unfortunately I did see it today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycbAuNPqWAk

To sum up: UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL!!!!

And then we had people here "crying foul" when Japan "parked the bus"!

Shame on England. I'm English but lost all respect after this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

England were totally inept in this game. Only one shot on goal all game!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Neither team deserved to be in this place tbh, but Croatia has a bit more flair and skills with players like Modric

A bit more flair and skills :) The English players were running around like headless chickens in the last 20 minutes of the second half.

Because of two 120 minute games and half healed injuries the Croats couldn't play as sharp as they use to otherwise game over after 90 minutes.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Lackluster England got the result they deserved dishing up the same old boring fare. Winning is about scoring goals, a crucial aspect of the sport that somehow seems to elude them, notwithstanding their 6-1 win over an insignificant Panama side. The Croatians' grit got them through and might hobble the French in the final if some of it gets in their shoes. May the best team win!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They're coming home. They're coming home. They're coming...England's going home!

Never mind lads. You've always got 1966 to go on...and on...and on about.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

England lost and that did not surprise me; England did have an easy ride until today.

When they did face real contenders they lost; re: Belgium & Croatia.

Spent the whole evening listening to the punditry of Linecker, Righ, Ferdinand and Co., wonder what JT experts would make of the fact our English analysts barely mentioned Croatia in their "analysis"; it was ALL about England missing a chance to win the WC!!! As if France did not exist nor is actually going to play on Sunday's final. It's not only the Japanese, yer no wat I'm sayin bruv?

No time to cry over the spilled milk. Next is the Nations Cup in September and England will face Spain. It's not coming home but it all starts again in roughly 2 months.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Maybe, but "chauvinism" is alive and kicking, particularly on the BBC.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@CC, mate I have (obviously) no pbm with english fans enjoying the wc, the banter, rivalries etc (nor england as a nation/football team). The point i was trying to make is that english media/pundits and (some/many) fans often take the moral high ground. They've been rubbishing pretty much all teams re diving/cheating etc during this wc yet can not even see let alone admit that english football's tarred with the same brush at epl & international level. Alli, Sterling, Lingard, Young to name a few are all 'serial' divers. A few of your lads cried/screamed/wasted time during the game last night. All teams do, week in week out. They may not be in Neymar/Mbappe's league (yet) but they're pretty close (reckon Alli already is but that's just me).

I have a few very good pommie mates and will continue to watch/enjoy english football every w-e like i have been doing for decades. I just will never accept the 'oh but we poms are different (as in better) from the rest of you, son' bs i sometimes hear/read. All good though!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Boring match. England out-performed expectations by getting to where they got to, but am glad for sanity's sake that we don't need to listen to arrogant England fans boasting for decades about a World Cup title that wouldn't have been all that deserved, had they come through.

goldorak: A few of your lads cried/screamed/wasted time during the game last night. All teams do, week in week out.

Particularly the French!

ClippetyClop: Are English people not allowed to dream, hope and enjoy it?

No.

ClippetyClop: Is your team so abject that you can only find joy in the eventual failure of ours?

Yes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thanks to foreign players and trainers the PL locals learned that the game, supposedly invented on the island, was innovated abroad and that the skills of the lads lifted in that process. Admitting that is contrary with the English psyche :)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

in the PL **

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saying that, England were a bloody awful side to watch under Capello. Really dull, negative and miserable. I’d actually go as far as calling it Italian but I can’t remember any bribed refs or fixed matches.

Talking about the PL not about a bad choice.

Best to pick and choose from the continent. Some are even duller than we are.

Such as? IKEA?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Played two decent teams and lost. Back to reality for England now. Glad to hear the end of "it's coming home"!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ClippetyClop

It much more important than you may think, I'm afraid.

"Bigger fish" are already jostling for position; Germany getting ready to will the first edition.

We (England) should not fall into the usual "ho, but it's not important" nonsense; it's worth to note that for us it's usually "not important" until we win it; then it's the most valuable competition in the World.

I'm from Ingurland too, me knows it very well.

FYI:

https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/news/newsid=2079553.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I only want Croatia to win and be a champion this World Cup. I really want a new country to be champion in the history of FIFA, to show that association hasn't tendencies with political affairs to always be the same countries going to to the final and be champion. FIFA history should change and be more credential to we fans understand how much football is globally an exciting and attractive sport.

What you call 'the same countries going to the final and be champion' has to do with their performance on the field and a pool of talented players or a system or both that exceeds other nations and not with an association linked to unproven 'tendencies with political affairs.'

When Croatia outperforms France next sunday, which is very possible, they will be a great World Champion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Intelligent football won over kick and rush and hoping for a free kick.

England is coming home :)

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

5 for England lost the game. He was completely sleeping on the play while the Croat headed the ball in to win. 35 should be ashamed for letting his team down it was terrible defense.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )

watch the replay of the winning goal again. you will notice #5 for England daydreaming while an alert Croat rushes the ball and heads it in.

5 you were terrible. What a lame final...Croatia vs France?
-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What a boring game. Seriously, I struggled to stay awake. England were very poor Croatia better, good luck to them.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Neither team deserved to be in this place tbh, but Croatia has a bit more flair and skills with players like Modric. so its no surprise. Should be an easy final for France as Croatia had 3 120-min matches in a row.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

England had Trump’s problem.

Tired of too much winning....

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Vivent les francophones, ce weekend!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bunch of hacks, this was supposed to be the year it was coming home and they threw it away, it's like they had no idea what they were doing near the end.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

England can't win a second WC. It's impressive, despite it's the Country where football was born.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Maybe, but "chauvinism" is alive and kicking, particularly on the BBC.

Who cares? This is a thread about football but some people want to turn it into a whine about biased commentators and people picking rubbish up.

Do you have interesting to say about the game?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Congrats to Croatia, another awesome game down to the wire.

Now, let's hope the English fans act with a little more class like the Japanese and Congo fans who picked up after themselves and acted with dignity and grace that were renowned around the world.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

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