A special night was in hand on Wednesday as England reached their first Semifinal match at the World Cup in almost three decades.
The opponents were a tightly knitted Croatia who have so far gone unbeaten in the World Cup.
From the Knockout stages, the Blazers have been tactically superior compared to other teams due to their ability to take the game into extra time.
In the Quarters & Round 16, Croatia were able to win on penalties after making serious comebacks during regular and extra time.
England on the other hand under the guidance of Gareth Southgate have been a more possession-based team that have made the most out of set pieces.
From kickoff, England pushed immensely up front to try and catch the home team off guard.
In the 4th minute, the Three Lions were awarded a penalty a few yards from the Croatia box.
Up came Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier to take the kick on the right hand side.
The Spurs man took the shot and got England their first goal from a free kick as the away fans when wild in the stands.
Trippier has arguably been one of the best wing backs/ right back in the tournament, contribute to the goals from set pieces that got England so far in the tournament.
The goal was a throwback to David Beckham’s free kick against Greece and will go down as a classic England goal in the years to come.
The away side kept on pressing after the goal as Raheem Sterling was making vital runs past the Croatian defence, catching out Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren in the process.
With the runs Sterling made came solid chances. However, the Manchester City winger couldn’t manage to convert his runs as he either didn’t take a shot in the box or pass early to another player.
Despite not scoring a goal through the whole tournament, Sterling looked solid on the ball and many believe he hasn’t been able to convert chances due to pressure from the English media and fans.
Captain Harry Kane had a solid chance to put the game to bed from a shot only three yards out from Danijel Subasic.
After a rebound shot, Kane tried to drive the ball into the goal again with Finesse but sadly it hit the post only for Subasic to save it.
Initially the linesman flagged the attempt for offside but a quick VAR review showed the Kane was on.
Despite looking more vulnerable in the first half, Croatia were also getting solid chances into the England box.
However, Jordan Pickford was on point at the away nets stopping shots from going in.
Many expected Jack Butland to play for England in the tournament, however, Pickford has impressed between the sticks as first choice.
Sadly in the second half, it looked like Croatia was taking control as Ivan Perisic was leading the attack with Ante Rebic and Mario Mandzukic in support.
Just after the hour mark, Croatia equalised as Sime Vrsaljko crossed a ball in to connect high with Perisic’s boot.
Moments later, Perisic almost got his double to put Croatia in front as he hit the post in the 72nd minute.
Though players looked tired on the pitch, England fans had hope in the stands as the game went into extra time.
Croatia broke the hearts of travelling fans as Perisic headed a ball onto Mandzukic to make a breakthrough for the Blazers in the 109th minute.
The game ended 2-1 as Croatia go through to face France in the World Cup Final.
England won the hearts of their fans after achieving what seemed to be the impossible by going into the Semis.
Source of Image: FIFAWorldCupENG (Twitter)
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