Modric, Perisic blast England for undermining Croatia following semi final victory

Lynette Rowe
July 13, 2018

The Three Lions suffered an extra-time 2-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia in Moscow, after a roller-coaster game which saw England take an early lead through Kieran Trippier, only for a second-half equaliser from Ivan Perisic to take the game to extra time and set up Mario Mandzukic's late victor.

England's Harry Kane said his team had been opened up and left "gutted" at the 2-1 extra-time loss, but the striker will feel like salt was rubbed into the wounds when he reads what Croatia defender Šime Vrsaljko had to say. The Croatians rallied from behind to win 2-1 in extra time thanks to a goal from Mario Mandzukic.

But just when it looked as if they would become the first team to appear in three shootouts at a single World Cup, Mandzukic struck with a well-taken low shot. "I wish we could both be in the final for that game but there is only one victor".

But Ivan Perisic grabbed the equaliser in the 68th minute, getting an outstretched boot to Sime Vrsaljko's cross and guiding the ball past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Some of these big matches, you just have to go through them and live them to know how to react in the right moments in the right way.

With Croatia playing in its third consecutive extra time match, the team somehow dug deep and found the energy needed to fight off the Three Lions, who looked more exhausted and fell asleep on the winning goal.

We think this one is self-explanatory.

'There will in time be lots of positives to take but it's too hard and too soon to put that in context.

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"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup". We should have killed the game before extra time, but this is an fantastic achievement for us, a dream come true.

"But, blimey, we've come through so many important ones and, as I say, I'm really, really very proud of what they've done".

He adds: "Nobody expected us to get this far before the tournament started - I didn't".

Croatia face France in the World Cup final on Monday.

"Mentally strong team", midfielder Ivan Rakatic said. "We probably needed that second goal [in the first half]".

To go from being derided as a bit useless to being in the final of both the Champions League and World Cup final in the space of a month is pretty good going, and that's exactly what's happened for Dejan Lovren.

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