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Croatia vs. England, Semifinals

11 July 2018

England and their relatively inexperienced roster has defied the odds to reach the World Cup final four.

The pair meet again tonight, and pundit Paul Merson has told the Daily Star that he thinks Lovren will have had sleepless nights thinking about facing Kane again, highlighting it as a key factor in England's hopes.

Croatia went ahead in the 1998 semifinals only 26 seconds into the second half when Aljosa Asanovic split the defense with a pass, and Davor Suker scored his fifth goal of the tournament.

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MAN IN THE MIDDLE Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey will referee his second straight World Cup semifinal match, after Argentina's penalty-kick win over the Netherlands four years ago. "It is a game that is very evenly matched, we know what we want to do and we have to focus on our preparation and make sure that we control the controllables as we have attempted to do for every game", the manager said.

England take on Croatia in the World Cup this evening.

"They are capable of going the whole way".

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Defender Dejan Lovren dismissed suggestions that the team would be exhausted after extra time and two penalty shootouts in their last two match matches. Croatian players surrounded the ref for a corner kick appeal because it appeared to be deflected off of Kyle Walker's boot, but it was a goal kick.

The fixture will need a calm and experienced referee to overlook the game and keep control of the players, especially if there is similar emotion to what we saw in the final moments of France vs Brazil. "It may repeat itself once, maybe never". The Three Lions last held the title in 2000 and are second with 73 wins from 144 games. The 2010s are the years of living ironically, however, and a new meme has sprouted out of England's above-average showing at this World Cup. Croatia have endured two gruelling 120-minute epics, with nerve-shredding penalty shootout wins in the knockout rounds so far against Denmark and the hosts. The most-cherished national team memory remains the 1966 World Cup final victory at Wembley over West Germany, a demarcation point in the island's history as much as 1066 (the Norman invasion) and 1707 (union with Scotland).

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"The biggest thing that the gaffer's brought since he's come in, which he's brought right from day one, was identity, and about the way that we wanted to create a team, " Henderson said.

Croatia vs. England, Semifinals