SEMIFINAL #2: ENGLAND vs. CROATIA

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
In 1958, Brazil won their first World Cup.
In 1978, Argentina won their first World Cup.
In 1998, France won their first World Cup.

In 2018...Croatia? I don't see it happening, but you never know.
 

McBride11

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Croatia outplayed England from about 20-30 min onward.
If England had the lead the time wasting would have been the same. Cro earned the W.

Now they better get some ice, IV fluids, and rest before Sunday after their 3rd straight OT match
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Why wasn't Pickford up for that last chance?
Dumb. England generally did lots of dumb stuff.

I agree with whoever said upthread that English fans should generally be happy with the way this team overachieved and that their future looks bright for the next few cycles. What they need is maturity and a No. 10.



[did someone call?]

that's a joke.
 

blueguitar322

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Belgium vs England for 3rd place. When was the last time that two teams played TWO games in a World Cup against each other, with neither of them having any real meaning or importance?
 

Zososoxfan

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Nice to see an unexpected run to the finals. Hats off to Croatia who put their foot on the gas after 30 minutes and never let off. Very professional team led by a good manager. Luka is a bawse and I am excited for the finals. England were a few players short and Southgate didn't recognize that his team had succeeded thus far due to the system more so than the players. A few earlier subs may have turned the tide. Nevertheless, a nice run by the 3 Lions with a young group. They should be excellent for Euros.
 

Joe D Reid

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England and Belgium to play two meaningless matches in the same World Cup, setting a record that literally cannot be broken.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I can't believe how resilient Croatia have been. They deserved it today.

England were great this tournament. Really memorable.
 

teddykgb

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Nice to see an unexpected run to the finals. Hats off to Croatia who put their foot on the gas after 30 minutes and never let off. Very professional team led by a good manager. Luka is a bawse and I am excited for the finals. England were a few players short and Southgate didn't recognize that his team had succeeded thus far due to the system more so than the players. A few earlier subs may have turned the tide. Nevertheless, a nice run by the 3 Lions with a young group. They should be excellent for Euros.
The English academies are starting to produce some talent which should fuel them on. I know Foden at City looks likely to be a real player at CM and has done well for England in younger age groups. Chelsea always has a youth juggernaut and I’m sure there are a few English kids there too. I’m hardly an expert in English youth football but if they can produce a few b2b midfielders they’ll have a great shot for next decade.
 

coremiller

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England's lack of a real midfield finally caught up with them. Weird that Harry Winks may have been the missing piece here had he stayed healthy, but he's exactly the sort of player England needed.

I thought Southgate was slow to recognize the problems and make changes. He needed to take off one of Alli/Lingard for someone who could help control possession and progress the ball from deeper, maybe Loftus-Cheek? Playing both of them is great when you're on the front foot and can interchange positions around the penalty box but they are too limited when sitting deep in your own half.

Congrats to Croatia. France are going to walk them in the final. France have the best overall team. I'm a little annoyed that Deschamps is going to get rewarded for setting them up so defensively, but there's no doubt it's been effective.

I think Luca Modric should win the Golden Ball. He's been sensational.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Euro is going to be really exciting.

Plus, it's just 1621 days, give or take, until Qatar v. A2 in Lusail Stadium.
 

Cellar-Door

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Can anyone remember a World Cup team like Croatia? Consistently getting outplayed in first halves then just running at their opponent over and over until finally they leave a defeated, exhausted wreck of a lineup in their wake.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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England's lack of a real midfield finally caught up with them. Weird that Harry Winks may have been the missing piece here had he stayed healthy, but he's exactly the sort of player England needed.

I thought Southgate was slow to recognize the problems and make changes. He needed to take off one of Alli/Lingard for someone who could help control possession and progress the ball from deeper, maybe Loftus-Cheek? Playing both of them is great when you're on the front foot and can interchange positions around the penalty box but they are too limited when sitting deep in your own half.

Congrats to Croatia. France are going to walk them in the final. France have the best overall team. I'm a little annoyed that Deschamps is going to get rewarded for setting them up so defensively, but there's no doubt it's been effective.

I think Luca Modric should win the Golden Ball. He's been sensational.
I agree on Loftus-Cheek. He's a good passer and good with the ball. He's not the answer for them in central midfield but I would have put him on in the second half.
 

Zososoxfan

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England's lack of a real midfield finally caught up with them. Weird that Harry Winks may have been the missing piece here had he stayed healthy, but he's exactly the sort of player England needed.

I thought Southgate was slow to recognize the problems and make changes. He needed to take off one of Alli/Lingard for someone who could help control possession and progress the ball from deeper, maybe Loftus-Cheek? Playing both of them is great when you're on the front foot and can interchange positions around the penalty box but they are too limited when sitting deep in your own half.

Congrats to Croatia. France are going to walk them in the final. France have the best overall team. I'm a little annoyed that Deschamps is going to get rewarded for setting them up so defensively, but there's no doubt it's been effective.

I think Luca Modric should win the Golden Ball. He's been sensational.
Ox was also missed. Wilshere may have had a role too, instead of, you know, Phil Jones or Gary Cahill.
 

McBride11

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Congrats to Croatia. France are going to walk them in the final. France have the best overall team. I'm a little annoyed that Deschamps is going to get rewarded for setting them up so defensively, but there's no doubt it's been effective.

I think Luca Modric should win the Golden Ball. He's been sensational.
Without a doubt, France is a stronger team.
I wonder a few things:
-Will Croatia be allowed to be as physical on Sunday and could this throw off the younger French side.

-Croatia is probably the strongest midfield France has played and have demonstrated the ability to get wide and have the FB overlap or make runs. This will take France out of the tighter formation they have had success with. Will that have an impact? Certainly Pogba Kante Matuidi are no slouches though.

Agree on Modric. Been a rock on this team.
 

fletcherpost

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I missed the game cos i had one of those pub meetings at 7pm. So i got pished, but sans football.

But I'm watching a replay and i have to say well done England. For beating Panama, Tunisia, Denmark and Sweden - did they play Denmark? This is off the dome, straight from the sink, heartburn et al. I can't recall.

So well done England for all you've accomplished. But you came up against the might mighty Croatians .A nation of more than 100M people, much bigger player pool, much bigger league. The Croatian league supplies three teams to the Champions League, so we can't play them down, even if we'd like to.

So much money in football these days funnels through the Croatian league. They are the haves in a sea of have nots. England are a small nation and have to get used to smaller exectations. One day football will be come home. And as anyone who has been paying attenton this last day or two will know - that home is Scotland. All of Scotland has been asked, who do we root for, do we root for England? Do we, do we?

No one asked these questions when Wales were getting it done. But we remember.

Scotland never lost a game these World Cup finals. England lost two. I know you have to be in it to win it but even so.
 

ernieshore

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Please remind me in 2 and 4 years to take these days off and not schedule 4 hours of calls during the exact same time as the semi-final. I work at home and was at least able to watch on mute, but I really wish I was at bar watching this one.
 

dirtynine

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I missed the game cos i had one of those pub meetings at 7pm. So i got pished, but sans football.

But I'm watching a replay and i have to say well done England. For beating Panama, Tunisia, Denmark and Sweden - did they play Denmark? This is off the dome, straight from the sink, heartburn et al. I can't recall.

So well done England for all you've accomplished. But you came up against the might mighty Croatians .A nation of more than 100M people, much bigger player pool, much bigger league. The Croatian league supplies three teams to the Champions League, so we can't play them down, even if we'd like to.

So much money in football these days funnels through the Croatian league. They are the haves in a sea of have nots. England are a small nation and have to get used to smaller exectations. One day football will be come home. And as anyone who has been paying attenton this last day or two will know - that home is Scotland. All of Scotland has been asked, who do we root for, do we root for England? Do we, do we?

No one asked these questions when Wales were getting it done. But we remember.

Scotland never lost a game these World Cup finals. England lost two. I know you have to be in it to win it but even so.