Croatia ready for England battle, says Dalic

Russian fans left heartbroken as Croatia dumps the host nation out the 2018 World Cup

World Cup 2018: England beat Sweden and Croatia defeat Russia

Croatia captain Luka Modric put in a man-of-the-match performance to lead his side to a penalty shootout victory over hosts Russian Federation, but he has no interest in personal awards as they chase their World Cup dream in a semifinal against England.

The regulation time ended 2-2 before Croatia sealed their qualification to the last four of the tournament winning on penalties.

Players too thanked the fans for their support.

England have progressed to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, but Croatia defender Dejan Lovren - who plays his club football in England - says he is not paying attention to the World Cup fever that has swept the country.

That caution is disappointing but if there is a silver lining for Dalic, it is that his team once again showed the mental strength to win on penalties - a not inconsiderable feat in front of a partisan 44,000 crowd in Sochi.

"Of course they have been a massive thing for us and other teams through the whole of the World Cup", Young said on Monday.

The early ratings numbers for this World Cup weren't great for Fox or Telemundo, especially with the absence of the US, leading to all sorts of dubious comparisons such as "versus the last four World Cups" (which goes back to the middle-of-the-night 2002 one in Japan and South Korea).

"I've known Luka for a number of years, not only from the national team", Mandzukic told reporters, as per FourFourTwo. "We have succeeded I believe, but it's time to take a step forward". "Why didn't you ask me about my good performances instead of nitpicking?" "We'll try to keep him quiet but Croatia are a team that also has threats from different areas".

"Our last three games were different because we played teams with a defensive approach", he said. "We looked decent. And penalties - it's a question of luck. and fate".

Then Russia left their Croatian counterparts in hot water (well maybe luke warm) as Denis Cheryshev conceded in the 31st minute of the game.

Not even a dramatic late spot-kick failure in the last 16 against Denmark could derail Modric's superb tournament, the Real Madrid man a strong contender for the Golden Ball at Russian Federation 2018.

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