Croatia's president dances with team after victory against Russian Federation

Rakitic_cropped

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But Dalic accepted the late finish of Croatia's quarter-final, coupled with extra-time exertions against Denmark, will pose his squad a physical challenge ahead of Wednesday's semi-final in Moscow.

In the World Cup semi-final match on Wednesday, Croatia will play against England.

England have for long desired to be at this stage.

Just four teams remain, all of them from Europe: Belgium, France, Croatia, and England.

Dalic's Croatia advanced to the final four for the first time since 1998 after winning a penalty shoot-out 4-3 against hosts Russian Federation in Sochi on Saturday. The current generation has perpetually been compared to that class of 20 years ago and here is their chance to go one better.

The ongoing Fifa World Cup has delivered classic after classic. "You'll see it on the field".

It promises to be an epic battle when Croatian experience takes on English youth.

"This is an awesome thing", coach Zlatko Dalic told HRT. Perisic aside, all have won club football's biggest prize - the UEFA Champions League. "He's one of the great (England) threats but he is not alone".

"It's a shame we lost, I think we deserved more, we played good football, with good players. In principle, we played as we planned, [but] the goals we conceded, we shouldn't have conceded, but that's football", 54-year-old former worldwide 'keeper said. We won't want to stop.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is facing a Belgian team that has scored a tournament-leading 14 goals in five matches when they meet in the semifinals in St. Petersburg.

"I was concentrated throughout the match, but after Rakitic's penalty the emotion came bursting out of me". Wing-backs Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier have been key to providing the corners. "They have worked in our favor and we'll carry on working on them". "They have worked in our favour and we hope to continue doing that".

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Kane then thumped home two superb penalties in the 6-1 mauling of Panama.

This is the first time in 16 years that two teams took a quarterfinal to extra time, after having played extra time in the round of 16 as well.

"I remember it as a player myself, there were certain players I didn't like playing against".

Sterling celebrates with his teammates during England's win over Sweden.

"What can I say?"

"He has minor issues, but we have a huge game tomorrow". It's a massive game and we're focusing on what we need to do.

"We have already accomplished something but this team can do more", he said.

In Moscow, the area behind Red Square was the unofficial beating heart of this World Cup. A lot of them sang Russian songs in the streets all night, waving Russian flags and sounding the horn.

"I plan to receive a coaching licence in December. Maybe we can change something".

Cherchesov, who faced heavy criticism going into the tournament, but has emerged from it as a national hero, gave his thoughts after the defeat to Croatia consigned his team to a heart-breaking exit.

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