Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Trump, May get Croatian jerseys ahead of England SWC semi final

Trump, May get Croatian jerseys ahead of England SWC semi final

The Inter Milan winger played a key role in the small Balkan nation reaching a first major final, scoring the equaliser and then setting up Mario Mandzukic for the 2-1 extra-time victor over England in their semi-final.

With three straight extra-time matches, Croatia has played the equivalent a full 90-minute match more than France has through six games in Russian Federation.

Croatian Cultural Society spokesman Goran Katich watched the game with fellow supporters at the Croatian club in west Auckland and said they were ecstatic when the final whistle went.

'But that success, that bronze medal from 1998 is still the best achievement in sports (for Croatia) because football is the No 1 sport. I can imagine the same kind of scenes, a very great and positive atmosphere back in England. "We're immensely privileged to be in the World Cup final".

"It's the third time I've cried in the last two weeks - Denmark, Russia, now this", he said.

Six charter flights carrying more than 1,000 fans left the capital Zagreb for Moscow late yesterday and today, national flag carrier Croatia Airlines said. I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Ceferin added "these results validate all the work that is being done across the continent to develop football, and they also showcase the strength and quality that exists across the whole UEFA region". Martinez hopes to succeed where they failed by employing a two-year process to ensure "this is a team, this is not a group of individuals". Croatia entered the 30 minutes with a passionate drive inspired by the equalizer, enabling a strong offensive start.

"We haven't really got the players now, but we've got the team", he said.

The French players danced on the field after their victory but toned it down slightly to shake hands with Thierry Henry, who helped Les Bleus win the World Cup in 1998 and is now Belgium's assistant coach.

"We prepared to get to the final and we want to play it".

"We have to play as if this were the first game in this tournament".

Samuel Umtiti headed the only goal in a 1-0 semi-final win over Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday (AEST), consigning the Red Devils "golden generation" to another bitter defeat.

"We played better than we did against Argentina".

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