On July 11th, England faced Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals. Unfortunately, Southgate’s men have lost the match. On the positive side, England’s World Cup journey was full of pleasant surprises and triumphs. And what a long journey that was! Despite losing to Croatia 2-1, England broke its infamous reputation for losing on penalty shootouts.
The match between England and Croatia started in favour of Southgate’s men. Only five minutes into the game, Kieran Trippier scored a goal for England. England was confident and dominated the game until the end of the first half.
Croatia’s Ivan Perisic scored a goal in the 68th minute of the game that levelled the score. The result remained the same until the end of the regular time. Then the countries went into extra time. Both sides were exhausted. Croatia’s Mandzukic made it up for his team’s poor start. He scored the second goal for Croatia in the 109th minute of the tie.
This is the first time Croatia will show up in the World Cup final. They were one of the biggest surprises on UK betting sites. In the group stage, Zlatko Dalic’s men defeated Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland. Round of 16 saw Croatia defeating Denmark. In the quarterfinals, Croatia defeated Russia, and on their path to World Cup finals, they’ve left England to compete for the third and fourth place against Belgium.
Even though England lost yesterday’s game, the team has a lot to celebrate. Apart from excellent results in the group stage, England knocked Colombia and Sweden out of later stages of the competition. England’s new shootout strategy has given results. Southgate’s men achieved the same success England had at the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship.
“We’ve come an incredibly long way in a short space of time. The whole thing is beyond where we thought we might go. Tonight we weren’t quite there. But the team will be stronger for it,” said Southgate.
Congrats to England! They’ve indeed come a long way.