Twenty years after their lost semifinal, the Croats will find the French team in the World Cup final on Sunday in Moscow (5pm). As in eighths and quarters, they had to go through overtime. But this time, Mandzukic and his band were able to make the difference before the shots on goal to bring down England (2-1).
Croatia vs France
The bruises are now fixed. On Tuesday, they face Belgium (1-0) in the World Cup final in Moscow (5pm), Croatia. This will be the 6th confrontation between the two teams, with a positive result so far for the France team (3 wins, 2 draws). The Croats made up their ticket this Wednesday by coming to the end of England (2-1), which will not participate in its second World Cup final after its sacre de 1966. Kieran Trippier had opened the scoring after just five minutes of play on a direct free-kick about 20 meters from Danijel Subasic’s goals. But Ivan Perisic, author of his second goal of the competition, equalized at the 68th of an acrobatic test of the left on a center coming from the right of Sime Vrsaljko.
Unable to decide after this goal, Croats and Englishmen were thus entitled to an extension, as in eighths and Quarters for the men of Zlatko Dalic, and as in eighths for those of Gareth Southgate. A rather logical outcome after a first period dominated by the British and a second act marked by several Croatian offensives. But this time, the Croats didn’t wait for the penalty shootout to make a difference. At 109th, Mario Mandzukic took advantage of a Perisic head to surprise the English defense and shoot Jordan Pickford from the left. A big hit for the British, who have been so solid on the defensive since the start of the tournament and who even finished at 10 after the tripier injury outing after the four changes made by Southgate.
Croats at the end of their strength
Set in 4-2-3-1, as from the beginning of the Mondial, the Croats have long accused the blow on the physical plane against the young English shoots. Already on the brink of the break in the two previous laps, the Croats appeared very blunted, like their captain Luka Modric, who suffered a lot in the first period with a big technical waste and very little offensive inspiration, before gradually gaining power in the second period and finally regaining his level. Of course, Madrid has not been the only one to pay for the efforts that have been made in Russia for almost a month.
Ivan Strinic, at the end of his game, was forced to ask to leave at the beginning of the overtime. Mandzukic was also replaced during the extension after complaining of cramps. And yet, despite all this fatigue, the Croats managed to bring down the England of Harry Kane, who was barely in sight in this semi-final. They were able to count on their mind to get back to the score while the English seemed a step up, before tearing themselves up in overtime to win the right to face the French team. The question now is how they are going to recover, so they are going to face Les Bleus with three extra legs and one day less recovery.