Exhausted Croatia train sights on France in World Cup final

FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinal schedule France vs Belgium England vs Croatia

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.

Earlier this year one of the Croatian team's main sponsors, Zagrebačka Pivovara (Zagreb brewery) ran a promotion asking fans what they would give up if Croatia won the World Cup.

"The Fiery Ones are in the final, the nation is in a trance - one more step to the title!" said the Jutarnji List, using the team's nickname.

In a region still scarred by the conflicts of the 1990s in which 130,000 people died, many people find it hard to throw their support behind Croatia despite a common language and culture. "These are major competitions", Dalic said. This shows character and is what makes me proud. In extra-time nobody wanted to be substituted. I can not lie that when we beat Germany we thought that was the final. "Going to extra-time might be a problem along with the fact France have had an extra day to recover but there will be no excuses".

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Luka Modric's men needed extra time to beat a spirited Three Lions team with a 109th minute victor from Mario Mandzukic after Kieran Trippier's early free kick was canceled out by Ivan Perisic in the second half.

In London, an initial wave of elation turned to heartbreak as 30,000 beer-soaked fans in Hyde Park watched their team come up short. 'We want to finish a great tournament on a high, ' he said.

In Brazil in 2014, Pitana refereed four matches.

France stars Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc raise the Fifa World Cup after winning it in Paris in 1998.

One dead, 20 injured in South Africa vintage plane crash
Earlier, reports emerged that 20 people had been injured after a plane, marked Martin's Air Charter, crashed at the airport . Civil Aviation Authority investigators were at the scene and started the process of determining the cause of the accident.

"Croatia will win the World Cup!". The only other meeting at a tournament was in the group stage of the 2004 European Championship, when a controversial referee's call went against the Croats.

"I know everything about Croatia, I have lived the country intensely in all my life, since its history on all the sports of the country".

Gareth Southgate will assess Harry Kane in training on Friday before determining whether his captain, pursuing the World Cup's golden boot, will start in the third-place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday.

Manchester City star subjected to vile racist abuse after World Cup elimination
Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 global appearances, played for France at four World Cups in all. This World Cup also spelled the beginning of the end of the Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era.

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