Football

Croatia v England Live Commentary & Result, 11/07/2018, World Cup



Croatia have reached the World Cup semi-finals for the second time since their first World Cup participation in 1998, which is more than the likes of Argentina, England, Italy, Portugal and Spain (one each). The only European nations with more semi-final appearances in this period (inc. 2018) are Germany (four), France (three) and Netherlands (three).

England are unchanged from their win over Sweden, with Henderson overcoming a slight niggle that bothered him after the quarter-final. Sterling keeps his place leading the line alongside Kane, with Rashford once again settling for a place on the bench.

Croatia have made one change to their side that defeated Russia in the quarter-finals. Kramaric drops out of the side and is replaced by Brozovic, who will sit in front of the back four to provide protection to Vida and Lovren in the middle of the backline.

England subs: Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jamie Vardy, Jack Butland, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nick Pope.

ENGLAND (3-4-1-2): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.

Croatia subs: Dominik Livakovic, Vedran Corluka, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Lovre Kalinic, Tin Jedvaj, Filip Bradaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Milan Badelj, Marko Pjaca, Josip Pivaric.

CROATIA (4-1-4-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Marcelo Brozovic; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic.

The team news has been announced and we’ll start with Croatia.

This is the eighth meeting between England and Croatia, with England winning four of those games, with one draw and two Croatia wins; six of the previous seven games have also been played on a Wednesday.

England have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Their path in the knockout stage was almost as tricky as Croatia’s, needing penalties to see off Colombia. Yerry Mina’s late goal sent the contest all the way to spot-kicks, but for once the Three Lions prevailed as Eric Dier converted. Their win saw Gareth Southgate’s men faced with Sweden in the quarter-finals, although on this occasion England managed to pull off a routine 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli. Southgate will be dreaming of a similar performance this evening.

Croatia have not used the easy path to get to the semi-finals. They were forced to battle through on penalties twice in their wins in the knockout round. Denmark took them all the way after both sides cancelled each other out, but Ivan Rakitic held his composure from 12 yards to send his team through to the quarter-finals. Russia proved to be just as stubborn in the last eight as the contest swung one way then the other. However, Rakitic again was the decisive factor to send his team through to the semis with his spot-kick.

The eyes of the footballing world fall upon the Luzhniki Stadium this evening as Croatia and England face off for a spot to play France in the World Cup final.

Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England in Russia.



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