Federation Internationale de Football Association investigating allegations against Croatia defender Vida

Federation Internationale de Football Association investigating allegations against Croatia defender Vida

And of course for England, it's their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years after a superb showing from Gareth Southgate's troops over in Russian Federation.

The Russians lost only once over 90 or 120 minutes of football and that was in their final group match against Uruguay, when they had already qualified for the knockout stage.

Croatia scored their 10th goal at the 2018 World Cup, their second-best yield for a single tournament, one less than what their third-placed 1998 team managed on debut in France.

How they got there Croatia after winning Group D with a 100 per cent record have had to grit their way through the knockout stages with penalty shoot-out wins over Denmark and hosts Russian Federation.

"Thank you for the honest, genuine emotions you gave us thoughout the World Cup", they wrote. This World Cup campaign is also probably the last time for a cohort of talented players like Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mandzukic to sign off with worldwide silverware. From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading.

Another weekend at the 2018 World Cup brought another two days of top level football. "They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.

Zlatko Dalic insists his Croatia team have not run out of steam before their World Cup semi-final against England after advancing through the previous two rounds on penalties.

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For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic had his penalty saved, but Marcelo Brozovic, Modric and Vida all netted theirs before Rakitic stroked in the victor.

"This looks like a nation with a newfound sense of footballing confidence - and expectations for the future", said Challands. We have two matches to play and we are very motivated.

"He watched. He was rooting for the team".

"I think we are underdogs from Day 1 and it's good for us", Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said.

Rakitic was the hero against Russian Federation, converting the winning penalty just as he did in the round-of-16 shootout win over Denmark.

"We know we can do better".

Modric suggested there was "maybe a bit more pressure on England" but, whereas Southgate's side are one of the youngest at the tournament, this will be a last roll of the dice at a World Cup for many Croatia players, probably Modric - now 32 - included.

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