England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 attracts few fans

Lawrence Kim
July 12, 2018

After making history with England's first-ever penalty-shootout win at a World Cup against Colombia, the Three Lions did what many of their predecessors would have failed to do-get through a quarter-final against a team of Sweden's calibre in relative comfort. "It's something very big for us", said Croatia fan Neman, arriving at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Croatia have needed penalty shoot-outs to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stage.

Fatigue could be an issue for Croatia as the game wears on, given they have gone to extra time and penalties in both knockout games in Russian Federation, although they also won both shootouts.

He could have scored even more goals if he had been given the kind of quality supply he gets from Christian Eriksen and the wide players at Spurs, but Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli have all come up short in my eyes.

He said he was convinced that win or lose on Wednesday, his team had a bright future after decades of English under-achievement on the global stage.

"They've got players all around the squad that are going to be hard opponents".

If England beats Croatia and then France in the finals, knight the man on Sunday.

The confidence coursing through Southgate's squad was apparent before tomorrow's World Cup semi-final showdown as his players maintained they have achieved nothing yet and vowed to be bold as they seek to reach Sunday's final.

England is led by its captain, Harry Kane, who has scored six goals already at the 2018 World Cup and is the front-runner for the Golden Boot.

"We want players to be 100 per cent but we will see after training. It may repeat itself once, maybe never".

"I have all respect for Harry Kane".

"I don't know what to say".

Even though he gets himself into great positions and should score goals in even game he plays, Sterling is a awful finisher when chances come his way and he needs to be more clinical if he gets in decent positions against Croatia tonight.

"It's completely irrelevant, " he said through a translator.

Modric started that match at Wembley and remains integral to Croatia's game 11 years later, the captain having been widely hailed as one of the best players at the finals in Russian Federation.

France impressively contained Belgium in a disciplined performance that was decided by another setpiece goal - a feature of this World Cup - as Barcelona defender Umtiti outjumped the defence to glance the ball past ´keeper Thibaut Courtois.

"Why didn't you ask me how I played well against him in other games?"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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