#ENGCRO England Out Of #WorldCup Match Report

What a disappointing night it was last night for every England fan. After an incredible tournament, they petered out with a poor performance against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. After only five minutes Dele Alli won a free kick and Kieran Trippier was stood over the ball just outside the edge of the box. The wing-back stepped up and whipped an incredible shot into the top corner of Danijel Subasic’s goal, although the keeper should have done better with it, to give the Englishmen a dream start. For the rest of the half the leaders played excellently and created a few chances, the best of which fell to Harry Kane who got through on goal but couldn’t finish past Subasic. The rebound fell back to the Tottenham man in a very good position about two yards from goal but he somehow couldn’t squeeze the ball into the net as it just hit the inside of the post and then deflected over the bar off the foot of the Croatian goalkeeper. It was an incredibly lucky escape for the Croats and I’m convinced that they would have lost had it in. The second half was completely different and with 20 minutes to go Sime Vrsaljko whipped in a cross towards the back post where Ivan Perisic got the run on Kyle Walker and headed the ball past Jordan Pickford to take the game to extra time. England improved in extra time and during the first half John Stones headed a corner goalbound but Vrsaljko managed to clear it off the line to the Three Lions’ despair. Five minutes into the second half a defensive mix-up allowed Mario Mandzukic to run in behind and win the game with a left footed shot to send Croatia into their first ever World Cup Final. As I predicted before the match, the Croats proved to have better quality and I think the experience in their side really helped them. It has been an incredible journey for England, and I’m sure it has reconnected millions of fans with the team, something that just hasn’t been there in my lifetime.

2 thoughts on “#ENGCRO England Out Of #WorldCup Match Report

  1. I personally think in the cold light of day, we will look back and reflect that this is such a massive opportunity that has been missed.

    We could have put them away in the first half but frankly in the second half we were devoid of ideas and creativity. They were fitter, more creative and deserved the win. That said, I am sure it will come out at some stage that Harry Kane was carrying an injury (which if so he should not have played).

    Yes the team got everyone on board, and Southgate deserves credit. But I don’t buy that we are a great team, we frankly scraped a win against Tunisia, nearly threw it against Columbia, beat a poor Sweden and struggled against a Croatia who aren’t all that. We struggled with the intensity of a side that had played 120 minutes twice. France or Belgium would have taken us to the cleaners if we had have reached the final.

    I doubt in my lifetime we will ever get such an opportunity.

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  2. Really interesting match report. I think that you are right saying that the Croatians had the experience and ability that was especially apparent in the second half but I think that England gave a 100% and that is so good to see after watching some of their predecessors!
    Even if as uncle Richard says they had an easy path to the semi final I think they will have inspired lots of young people to follow football and given oldies like me the feeling that that it was worth watching the matches because the players really wanted to be there and earned my respect and support.

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