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In what is starting to look like the beginning of a tradition, the children of Croatian players found their way onto Luzhniki Stadium amid the celebration of Hrvatska's 2-1 extra time win over England.

France and Belgium will contest the other semi-final on Tuesday evening. Two players played with half a leg, but it didn't show!

Croatia were last in the semi-finals in 1998 and captain Luka Modric reckons their good fortune is long overdue.

Vrsaljko, who plays for Atletico Madrid, had struggled to be ready for the match after playing in two previous extra-time matches, but he found the strength to lift his exhausted, battered team to a comeback win.

Russia's most-capped player Sergei Ignashevich announced his retirement from soccer on Sunday after the hosts were eliminated by Croatia on penalties in the World Cup quarter-final hours earlier.

Dalic's team looked exhausted as they laboured against hosts Russian Federation for 120 minutes on Saturday before they advanced via a shoot-out success for the second time in a week. The final of the World Cup between France and Croatia will take place on Sunday.

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup
We showed our character, we showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us. Like with my case, I think people should respect me also.

"Luka Modric was absolutely unbelievable and ran the game in midfield".

Among the best was Marcelo Brozovic, the Inter Milan midfielder brought into the line-up to provide extra steel in front of the defence.

"We do not want to stop, we will try to play our best game [against England]". I wish him the best, but not so much when he plays against Real Madrid.

No-one gave us a chance before this World Cup, but with our quality, desire, togetherness and fighting spirit we have shown throughout the tournament, we are in the final.

The country is expected to consume an extra 10 million pints on the "busiest night of the year" for pubs as England take on Croatia in their World Cup semi-final.


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