Croatia star shouts home town's massive Cup bar tab

Croatia star shouts home town's massive Cup bar tab

The 3-0 comprehensive win over Lionel Messi's Argentina remains their tournament best performance but England will provide a stern test after Russian Federation and Denmark both stretched Dalic's side to the limit.

Russian Federation were eliminated from this summer's tournament after losing on penalties to Croatia in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Croatia will now head to Moscow where they take on England in the second semifinal to be played on Wednesday, July 11.

That came through a Denis Cheryshev first-half curler from outside the box, his fourth goal of the tournament and one of the finest at this World Cup.

They have experience, bags of talent and there is no questioning their fighting spirit yet there is something still strangely lacking in the Croatia team which has reached the World Cup semi-finals for the second time in their history.

Both teams will go into the game with caution because it's a semi-final and these matches can be decided by a mistake or great individual goal.

"The Ballon d'Or? I don't think about it at all", Modric said.

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"We enjoy playing against big teams as we showed against Argentina", insisted defender Dejan Lovren.

The Russians as hosts did not need to qualify for the World Cup and their ranking of 70 in the world was the lowest among all teams in Russia, even lower than global football minnows Saudi Arabia. "We saw how good they are from dead balls so we will have to focus more on defending set pieces".

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They had also needed spot kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last 16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England. "It's going to be a man's match and we will have to step up". "The most important for me is my team winning the World Cup".

It was a similar story in the round-of-16 against Denmark and, on the back of those two gruelling encounters, they now have just four days to prepare for an England side that beat Sweden in 90 minutes.

When he recovered late in the season, Winks was not the same player and England were right to leave him at home due to lack of match fitness and sharpness.

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