MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
There will probably be sore heads and bleary eyes
in Croatia on Thursday morning after a night of celebrations in
the wake of the World Cup semifinal win over England.
The side led by Luka
Modric booked their place in the World Cup final for the first
time in the country’s history and are now assured of going at
least one step further than Davor Suker’s ‘Generation of 1998’.
Croatia’s win means
they have become the 13th country and the tenth
European nation to qualify for the World Cup final in the
history of the tournament. Meanwhile England have now lost two
semifinals, 1990 and 2018 and it has been 52 years since they
last played the final in 1966.
England had taken
the lead in Moscow thanks to Kieran Trippier’s free kick after
just five minutes, which was the fourth fastest semifinal goal
in World Cup history, although some way behind Arne Nyberg’s
38-second effort for Sweden against Hungary in 1958...and Sweden
didn’t make it to the final either.
Croatia’s impressive scoring record, it’s no surprise England
failed to cling on to their advantage.
By far, Croatia have
scored in their last 10 World Cup games and have won their last
six. Their rival on Sunday, France, reached the final with five
wins and a 0-0 draw in their final Group C match against
The Croats needed
extra time in every one of the knockout rounds and that means
they have played 90 minutes more football, or effectively an
entire game, than Les Bleus, who finished all of their knockout
games within regular time. Coincidentally, the last time a side
played three consecutive extra times was when England fought
their way to the 1990 semifinals.
Wednesday saw the
ninth time a World Cup semifinal needed 30 more minutes to be
decided, with 5 of them needing penalties to find a winner.