Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Croatia were lions, says scorer Mandzukic

Croatia were lions, says scorer Mandzukic

"We are in the final and that is the biggest success in Croatia history".

Dalic's team looked exhausted as they laboured against hosts Russian Federation for 120 minutes on Saturday before they advanced via a shoot-out success for the second time in a week. I asked him and he said he was OK, it did not affect him much.

It is the first time that Croatia have reached this stage of the World Cup since the golden generation of Davor Suker and Zvonimir Boban managed the feat in 1998.

"My captain does a great job in the dressing room - he's a role model on and off the pitch for all kids, not only in Croatia".

"We showed again we were not exhausted", he said.

"The lads can come away from this tournament and be proud of what they've done, but at the end we did come up a little bit short".

He said: "I don't read what is going on in England, I am reading about my own country after each game". France scored two goals in its match against Uruguay, which has led to it facing off against Belgium - a team that beat five-time World Cup champion Brazil.

In that game, Davor Suker's goal in the 46th minute was cancelled out by a pair of strikes from France defender Lilian Thuram at the Stade de France, but Dalic said his Croatian team won't be thinking about that semifinal loss.

Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in the semi-final clash in Moscow, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the victor in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier's free-kick opener. "We don't fear England".

He added that he would have retired as professional footballer earlier if not for the World Cup and now plans to become a coach.

A promise: "If we win, all the team will dye our hair". "I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is really fast and his combination with Harry Kane is really risky".

Neil Walker, spokesman for the Society of Independent Brewers, told the Standard: "Tonight is likely to be the busiest week night of the year for publicans thanks to the heroics of the England team".

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