He comes back in his third overtime with Trippier’s goal at the start, with goals from Perisic and Mandzukic in the 108th minute, and will play the final against France next Sunday (17h).
A coach who has only nine games in his position, a team that played his third time in a row and had to overcome the result, a country in its infancy reached its first World Cup final. No one has been better than the Croats. No team has counted on a midfielder of intelligence and mastery of Modric. Nobody has had to look so deep to find strengths, solutions, goals.
Maybe that was not the most celebrated narrative but football has the habit of not favoring the popular vote. They fell great individual stars in this World Cup, nations of great prestige and yesterday one of the most friendly. The football debate in England had barely touched. It was said that there was a lack of fluency in the four above, the first, Southgate, who noticed that there was much to improve. But the set pieces had covered the inadequacies. And so they had reached the semifinals. And that was just how they opened the scoring, even before it was decided what kind of match it would be. The first combination of the match, a long exit to Lingard that gave the ball to a Dele Alli that ran into the rival area without rival support, ended up missing in the half moon. Who should follow Dele Alli? Modric arrived late, surprised by the English direct ball. Croatia was too long.
It was finally Trippier who kicked the foul over the barrier. The side of Tottenham is in charge of the stopped balls of his band with the national team. Southgate saw in him a consistency that he did not find in others. I had not scored before but the hit, without being too tight, was excellent and needed a good boost from Subasic. It surprisingly did not rise with enough power. Goal.
Four minutes later another match began. England, confident, with the clear idea of looking for Kane and especially Sterling when possible, was growing. You could count on everyone, especially with Dele Alli appearing between the lines. They created again and again cul-de-sacs, and at the end of it, the Croats met a grown Henderson whom one imagines three meters and with the smile from ear to ear, arms in jar, releasing a, “For not here”. And each fault seemed the prelude to something big.
Croatia was tired. Or was it the head? When a team breaks the ball with centers that carry more hope than question, whose biggest danger are the chutes at a distance, when nobody dares to dribble a defender, when they lose almost all the disputes, they are exhausted after two consecutive extensions. . Or stiff? The English freshness, the simplicity but effectiveness of their game was eating their morale. And even in those moments Modric showed his height again. As his team was not there, with a frustrated Rebic who raised his arms without addressing anyone, Modric decided to stop the game the last ten minutes before the break. You had to take a breath.
The next thing was to go out with rebellion, as if nothing had happened. England invited Croatia to attack her, she felt comfortable. Only that any center, put from three quarters of the field, for what could be, could become dangerous action and even in goal if the defender is Walker and the attacker Perisic who put the foot where the defender cleared with the head (why the head with a ball so low?). It was tied like that. And again another encounter began.
Liberated Croatia, with an Imperial Modric, the party was escaping to England. The ball moved with more speed, the concentration errors of the English were repeated. Croatia sharpened its teeth, smelled blood. Perisic sensed that he had to always look for the goal of Pickford and, behind the back of the rival goal, he did it backwards of head. Stones was not strong and the ball came to Mandzukic who crossed the ball before the desperate exit of the English goalkeeper. Was already. The best team, the best governed, the one that handled the emotions better, the one that has Modric, ended up in the final.