Tearful Dzyuba on hosts’ World Cup campaign

Tearful Dzyuba on hosts’ World Cup campaign

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic is hoping his defence can repeat their heroics against Lionel Messi and Christian Eriksen when they face Harry Kane in the World Cup semi-final.

Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic attends a training session at the Adler training ground in Sochi on July 5, 2018, ahead of the Russian Federation 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter final football match between Russian Federation and Croatia.

The date of the last time an England's men's side played in a semi final of a World Cup.

"1998 will never be forgotten and should not be, but I would love it if eventually the 1998 "Fiery Ones" can be moved aside so that we can talk not only about 1998 but also a bit about 2018", the former Real Madrid player said.

"I have all the respect for Kane, he's shown he is one of the best strikers in the Premier League, he gets goals, he's one of the greatest threats but he is not alone". Both Russia and Croatia had needed extra-time in their matches against Spain and Denmark, respectively, and thus emulated South Korea and Spain, who needed extra time and penalties to separate each other in the last eight of 2002.

Dejan Lovren, a man who will be crucial to Croatia's enjoyment of the clash at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, was sat next to Dalic on Tuesday and he exuded the same calm confidence as his coach.

"That defeat is completely irrelevant", he said, with a face like thunder.

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The other semi-final pits England (No. 12) against a beat up team from Croatia (No. 20).

"They're like me - this is the most relaxed we have been, but England is obviously the first choice".

Danijel Subasic's save on Fedor Smolov's penalty made him only the third goalkeeper in history to save four penalties in World Cup shootouts (He had saved three against Denmark in the round of 16 shootout).

"So we should not be surprised that Croatia are in the semi-finals given the quality of the players". The hosts lost 4-3 in the penalty shootout.

"This is really a big day for Croatian sport and football, it is a success that we will remember for generations".

England's achievement in reaching the last four has been played down by some after they qualified from a group containing Tunisia and Panama before meeting Colombia and Sweden in the knockout phase.

"He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow. We've got to win because we play better".

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