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Croatia Ready To Fight Until End - Mandzukic

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Russia vs Croatia: Quarter Final- 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

A decade later a young, vibrant team has earned England a spot in the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 28 years and it will face Croatia again.

Saturday's shootout was Croatia's second of this World Cup and the 30th World Cup tie to be decided on penalties since Schumacher's moment in Spain 36 years ago.

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic ensured fans in his hometown had plenty to drink as they watched them qualify for the World Cup semis, Daily Mail reports.

Yet against Croatia he would have been England's best option to take their opponents on at their own game, with clever and inventive passing, masterful possession football and a growing ability to dictate the game.

They return to action on Wednesday when they meet England (19:00 BST) in Moscow for a place in the final on 15 July.

In 1998, Croatia, which had emerged from a bitter independence war only three years earlier, made its debut at a World Cup finals.

England is going to take on Croatia whereas Belgium will be facing France in the semi-finals.

Luka Modric won the man of the match award for the third time in five games at this World Cup, with a superb array of passing from a deep role in midfield. "We have everything needed to do that, a great team, great staff and I hope we will make the extra step", he said.

The ponytailed 29-year-old shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" in a video posted by former Croatia global Ognjen Vukojevic shortly after the match.

Croatia's long periods of possession were largely unproductive, the final pass was invariably missing and they were surprised by Russia's aggressive approach.

But this time around, the Didier Deschamps tutored squad looks fired up to go for broke as they seek to emulate the class of France '98 squad of which Deschamps was the World Cup winning captain.

Pre-tournament concerns ranging from England's recent record in summer tournaments to hooliganism have resulted in a significantly reduced England following in Russian Federation so far this tournament.

'The most important thing for me is that my national team succeeded and that we do something big.

I can't see anything but an England win.

Apart from the experience of 103 worldwide appearances, Lloris has a few other things going his way when he's trying to stop them - including the fact he's faced numerous Belgians already while playing for Tottenham in the Premier League. "Of course he hasn't scored the goals we would have liked to score but for myself and the players he has been a crucial part of the way we have been playing". I am very disappointed that it's just the European teams left in the game.

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