Boost for England as Croatia star is ruled out

Thursday, 12 Jul, 2018

Croatia have sacked one of their coaching staff, Ognjen Vukojevic after he posted a pro-Ukraine video following the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Croatia toughed it out in an extra-time thriller against England to reach the final for the first time in their history as an independent country.

The Vatreni striker Mario Mandzukic ensured fans watching the game in his hometown of Slavonski Brod carried on celebrating long into the night, after covering for over 25,000 Croatian kuna (around $4,700) worth of drinks at the city's World Cup fan zone.

England's loss in 1990 was turned into a documentary film and has become a fabled part of the country's "52 years of pain" since their 1966 World Cup triumph.

"They haven't been there for 28 years. Many of these players have come of age and I couldn't be prouder of them". They have some top-quality players, which showed in the second half.

Andy Bradley, 42, from Hull, East Yorkshire, was among the throng of despondent England fans leaving the Moscow venue.

Robert Prosinecki, a member of the 1998 squad, said: "I would so much like that they be better than us".

They will meet a French team which eased past Belgium 1-0 in their semi-finals, and which boasts a population difference of around 62 million people more than Croatia.

"Now I've got to go". Once again they found themselves behind as Kieran Trippier's fifth-minute free-kick had put England ahead.

"We take it on the chin, we move on".

Parv Moondi, 49, form Norwich, was also among those trudging out of the Luzhniki and back to central Moscow.

"Two years ago, I remember what happened two years ago", Deschamps said, via Reuters. "We worked so hard, the fans were unbelievable, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better".

"This was the dream, we could've made it, we could have done it". The Real Madrid midfielder, touted as a Golden Ball contender, is likely playing at his last World Cup, and Dalic is delighted to see him at his best. "I think France will win the title". We have two days to prepare.

England will play in a World Cup semi-final for the first time since Italia 90, but Southgate insists his life outside of the game will not change if England progress to the final, or even win the tournament.