Alireza Faghani takes charge of third-place play-off

13 July, 2018, 04:27 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Croatian President celebrating after their second goal grabbed all eye-balls

Luka Modric's team were taken to extra-time for the third consecutive match in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday but somehow found the energy to overcome England 2-1.

Inevitably, that meant there was a lot of space on the flanks in front of the back five, explaining the high volume of crosses after half-time (with one leading directly to the equaliser).

"It will be more about the physical capabilities of the team", the manager said.

Meet one of the most fanatical Croatian fans in Brazil and he is Brazilian.


Dalic said there would be no excuses from his team despite their exertions over the past two weeks. That led European football's governing body to deduct a point from Croatia, ordered to play two additional games without fans and fined €100,000 (NZ$172,000).

"The victory over Argentina, the extra time!" We will still be thinking of the semi-final defeat, and what could have been, but of course I want to play.

For England, the emotions are mixed - pride at reaching the last four is tempered by disappointment at letting a golden opportunity slip through their fingers.

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Modric and Ivan Rakitic are both Champions League winners with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, while Mario Mandzukic - the star of extra-time - has played in two finals with Juventus.

Around 26 million people were believed to have watched the match on TV in Britain. "We want it to end in the best way".

"Our players and the (Serbian) federation could maybe ask the Croats to give us football lessons", someone else commented. But there have been no trophies since current coach Didier Deschamps lifted the World Cup as captain on July 12, 1998 - 5 months, 8 days before star striker Kylian Mbappe was born.

Win the World Cup and all this will be forgotten, of course, but should Croatia triumph the French will turn on their leader. "No country on earth would call that anything other than improvement". I know the taste of losing a final.

Prince William, the president of the Football Association, said England could be proud of Southgate's team.

The Mirror - MOSCOW, Alireza Faghani of Iran will take charge of England's third-place play-off with Belgium on Saturday.



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