Perisic hails 'dream' goal as Croatia reach final

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

"Heroes" There's plenty of sympathy in defeat from The Mirror, which offsets the image of Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli crouched on the turf at the final whistle with the message, "We're proud of you all".

Backing Stones to score anytime in this match is the selection.

But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team.

World Cup fever is gripping the country as the Three Lions defied expectations to go their furtherest in the tournament since 1990.

The Croatian national anthem was the first to be played before the match at the nearly full-house 80,000-seat Luzhniki Area kicked off. Had Southgate's players faced a Brazil, France, Uruguay or Portugal before this stage, they might not have made it so far because the lack of service to Harry Kane would really have told against such high-quality opposition.

England came to a standstill as the 7pm kick-off approached, with roads deserted and shopping centres abandoned as fans dashed home to catch the historic game.

Those three words, from the anthem Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) by Baddiel and Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, have become the mantra of England. You don't get that reaction if you haven't played as well as you have.


But he added: "There's a lot of positives and I'd like to think this is the start of something good". There's no out and out stars and everybody just looks at them as young lads, making their way out, they've not got above their station.

But we've fallen just a bit short.

For Joe, 62, it was his first live England match.

While Belgium beat favourites Brazil only to be unseated by France in the semi-final, England's opponents were Colombia, Sweden and Croatia - not easy but unquestionably more manageable.

Scott Ratcliffe and his 10-year-old son Eliott, who has broken up from school, were in the queue to pick up their Fan IDs, having arrived in Moscow on Tuesday. I'm devastated for them.

"We're still one of only three teams ever to get to a semi-final, and I think for all of the players and staff they have got to be proud of that. I rooted for Croatia, wearing a Croatia jersey, and I could only dream of playing for my country and scoring one of the most important goals to send us to a final". We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go. "It's exciting times for these young fellas".

Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties in Sochi on July 8 to book a spot in the World Cup semi-finals, while England outclassed Sweden 2-0 the day before Croatia's victory.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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