Sports

Modric shines again but team mates must do more

Modric shines again but team mates must do more

Soccer Football - World Cup - Quarter Final - Russia fans watch Russia vs Croatia - FIFA Fan Fest, Moscow, Russia - July 7, 2018 A Russia fan reacts during the game.

Brazilian-born Mario Fernandes kept Russia's dream alive when he headed home in the 115th minute to level the scores and force penalties, but he and Fedor Smolov both failed to convert their spot-kicks and Croatia won the shootout 4-3.

The 29-year-old shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" in a video posted by former Croatia worldwide Ognjen Vukojevic shortly after the match.

The match will be England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

"To be able to manage the team to this point, having played in a semi-final as well, is really, really special".

But if Modric can rouse himself to control another match against England, they have every chance.

"So, hopefully we are going to play the way we can".

Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, said his country will be aiming to exploit England's weaknesses when they are not in possession.

France's all-time leading scorer will finish off his World Cup gig with Belgium in the playoff for third place in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

"I think we are just enjoying the journey, that's definitely helped us, everything we've done has been based on enjoyment", he added.

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"It wasn't a lovely game, but it was a battle", Dalic said.

The cliche that a World Cup is better when the hosts do well is overworked but it also rings true.

The Russians lost only once over 90 or 120 minutes of football and that was in their final group match against Uruguay, when they had already qualified for the knockout stage.

"We took the hard route, we were unlucky in previous major tournaments, particularly at Euros, but now we are collecting those debts at the World Cup this year".

"We saw how good they are from dead balls so will have to focus more on defending set-pieces because we conceded from a set-piece today, so have to improve that element of our game".

"We did win. Most importantly, they won for us, for the whole country".

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive".

"No other team in the world has fans like we do".

Despite increasing tensions with the West, Putin has presided over a superbly organised, relaxed and colourful tournament though this does not fool human rights groups who have consistently cautioned he is using the tournament to gloss over his authoritarian rule. Of course I have an important role on a daily basis, but the credit goes to my players.


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