Croatia ready for England in spite of extended matches

Croatia ready for England in spite of extended matches

Kolinda, the first female president in her country, was earlier seen shaking hands and congratulating Medvedev when Russian Federation took the lead but she couldn't hide her excitement when her team entered the semi-final for the first time after 1998.

Australia is home to around 133,000 citizens of Croatian descent, including former Australian national team striker Mark Viduka, a "Socceroos" legend. "No analysis has been done", he told football fans. "And they won a place in our hearts", she said.

Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli set up a last-four clash against Croatia in Moscow.

John Stones says he has no intention of letting the opportunity to play in England's first World Cup final in 52 years pass him by.

"We wanted to go further but, regrettably, we could not do that".

With the scores level after 90 minutes, extra-time was played, in which Croatia took the lead through Domagoj Vida in the first half, before Mario Fernandes headed a dramatic equalizer in the second half to force a penalty shootout.

The playmaker, who won a third successive Champions League title with Real Madrid before coming to Russian Federation, brushed off suggestions that his performance might put him in the running for the Ballon d'Or prize as the world's best player.

Next will be England, who reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years with a 2-0 victory over Sweden earlier on Saturday.

Southgate has used the stories of that triumph as inspiration, and believes the current team can become even bigger heroes.

"If anyone's got any tickets out there, we're desperate for the semi-final", said Holder in the van before striking out for Moscow, just over 1,000 km (600 miles) north-west of Samara.

"So to be here, to be a part of it, leading this team out, I'm so proud".

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", he said.

He also converted a penalty in normal time in the last-16 win over Colombia.

"But I thought we handled it really well".

'There are no favourites at this World Cup, every game is fifty-fifty and you have to fight it out.