27 million viewers watch England in World Cup semi-final

27 million viewers watch England in World Cup semi-final

Javier Howell
July 13, 2018

Croatia's defender Josip Pivaric celebrates with teammates after Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (C) scored their second goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.

England and Croatia duked it out in a tense yet gripping World Cup semi-final and one man planted his flag early doors. "Croatia are really strong mentally".

England are out of the World Cup and Roy Keane is reminding everyone when they should be happy.

Luka Modric's men needed extra time to beat a spirited Three Lions team with a 109th minute victor from Mario Mandzukic after Kieran Trippier's early free kick was canceled out by Ivan Perisic in the second half.

"We have to stay like we are, not think that we are the favourites". We still haven't won anything.

Not only did it give England the control they needed in the match but it signalled that Harry Maguire had truly arrived at the World Cup.

Samuel Umtiti, the goalscoring hero of the semifinal victory over Belgium, agrees with Pogba's assessment.

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"Who would have thought it, at the start of the tournament when everyone was writing us off?"

"What our players did today, the strength they've shown, the stamina, the energy levels ..." We are not thinking about being favourites. "It is the most important one of all".

Ecstatic Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is confident tiredness will not be an issue for his side despite once again coming through extra time to beat England on Wednesday after the same extended show against Denmark and host Russian Federation.

That is not a sign of a struggling team, according to Pogba, but one that has a lot of talent. "I told the players before the game there was no pressure - we have reached the semi-finals, enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did".

As shutters flashed around them, a concerned Ivan Rakitic held the photographer's head, defender Domagoj Vida planted a kiss on the head, and the three helped the smiling photographer up. Croatia had prevailed on penalties in both the last 16 and the quarter-finals, defeating Denmark and then tournament hosts Russian Federation.

"I'm feeling excellent, excellent", said Saric.

Quick to stress that "Modric is a great player", Neville nevertheless doesn't believe the suggestion that "the Daily Star front page [put England] 1-0 down". They dictate the game. "They have a day off and we'll assess them tomorrow".