Young urges caution ahead of World Cup semi-final

11 July, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • 1966 England team

"All the way through we have been one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the least experienced team, but we were never quite sure how far this team could go", said Southgate. The medal you win doesn't say how you played, or the scorelines.

Prediction: Worn down after two straight penalty shoot-out wins, Croatia eventually fall victim to yet another set-piece goal from England.

In their quarter-final clash with Russia, the Croats showed a different side, being willing to slug it out with the Russians for 120 minutes before keeping their cool and winning the shootout in such a partisan atmosphere.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren is eager to prove a point when he comes up against England forward Harry Kane in the World Cup semi-finals.

24 April 1996, friendly: England 0-0 CroatiaNiko Kovac of Croatia celebrates with teammate Robert Kovac after beating England 3-2 in a Group E Euro 2008 Qualifying game.

Midfielder Luka Modric is Croatia's top scorer in the tournament with two goals.

England's 11 goals so far are equal to the country's record of most goals at a single World Cup set back in 1966, when they won the title.

In total the two sides have played each other seven times, with England notching four wins to Croatia's two.

Croatia survived two penalty shootouts against Denmark and host Russian Federation to reach the semifinals, the first time it has been at this stage since the famous team of 1998 finished third in France.

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"We have strength and we're united on the pitch", the Barcelona star told FIFA TV.

But Henderson is confident the issue will not prevent him from lining up in Gareth Southgate's starting XI in Moscow.

"We are really proud with the style of our play, the intelligence of our play and that we have performed under pressure".

All eyes will be on Raheem Sterling once again.

That allowed Croatia to reach the semi-finals for the first time since the 1998 World Cup in France, which was their first as an independent nation.

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. - Croatia scored two headers in its last match against Russian Federation - only one of its previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.

Monaco goalkeeper Subasic saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark in the round of 16, and another in the quarter-finals as the Vatreni dramatically ousted hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

Southgate admits he sees similarities between the run to the 1996 semifinal and this one in Russian Federation although it's best not mention to him that football is coming home.

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