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National Teams

Three Lions to Final Four

England comeback
sends Croatia to
League B

18.11.2018.
England comeback sends Croatia to League B
photo by: HNS
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Croatia national football team completed the year with a loss to England at Wembley, despite taking the lead through Andrej Kramarić.

ENGLAND - CROATIA 2:1 (0:0)
UEFA Nations League, League A, Group 4
Wembley Stadium, London.

Referee: T. Sidiropoulos (Greece)

Goals: 0:1 - Kramarić (57'), 1:1 - Lingard (78'), 2:1 - Kane (85')

Cautions: Barkley (26'), Brozović (67'), Jedvaj (67'), Lovren (89')

England: Pickford, Chilwell, Stones, Gomez, Walker, Delph (73' Lingard), Dier, Barkley (63' Alli), Sterling, Rashford (73' Sancho), Kane. Head coach: G. Southgate.

Croatia: Kalinić, Jedvaj, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko (26' Milić), Brozović, Modrić, Perišić, Vlašić (79' Rog), Rebić (46' Brekalo), Kramarić. Head coach: Z. Dalić.

In its final appearance in this year's UEFA Nations League, Zlatko Dalić's men visited England. A really competitive game saw them lose to the hosts, who secured Final Four berth.

Croatia was the first with a promising opportunity as Rebić's effort following England's defensive mistake went over the bar, but the hosts then took the initiative and started to create chances. Kalinić denied Sterling in a "one-on-one" situation, and Kane fumbled the ball later on at the far post.

On 16 minutes, Kalinić and Jedvaj saved the day for Croatia, with Chilwell's effort parried by Kalinić ten minutes later. Barkley came close in the closing minutes of the first half, and another issue for the visitors was Vrsaljko's injury: he was replaced by Milić in 26th minute.

In the second half, England continued to press, but Croatia took the lead. On 57 minutes, Kramarić managed to shoot from the centre of the box, and it was deflected past Pickford.

Furthermore, the Vatreni threatened in two promising counterattacking moves, but England equalized on 78 minutes. Substitute Lingard tapped the ball in following Kane's effort. Croatia had another golden opportunity as Vida's header was cleared off the line, and in the end the Three Lions turned things completely around. Chilwell's cross five minutes from time was converted by Kane (2:1).

Croatia was thus relegated to League B, and England joined hosts Portugal at the UEFA Nations League Final Four. The other two semifinalists are to be determined from the France/Netherlands and Switzerland/Belgium pairings. 

UEFA Nations League, Group A4:
1. England 7
2. Spain 6
3. Croatia 4

UNL League A - group stage, 18.11.2018., Wembley, London. Spectators: 78221
Referees: Rasos Sidiropoulos (GRE), Polychronis Kostaras (GRE), Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth referee: Damianos Efthimidis (GRE)
England
2
Croatia
1
1Jordan Pickford12Lovre Kalinić
2Kyle Walker9Andrej Kramarić
57'
3James Benjamin Chilwell10Luka Modrić
4Eric Jeremy Edgar Dier2Šime Vrsaljko
26'
5Joseph Gomez6Dejan Lovren
89'
6John Stones18Ante Rebić
46'
7Ross Barkley
26'
64'
16Tin Jedvaj
67'
8Fabian Delph
73'
4Ivan Perišić
9Harry Edward Kane
85'
21Domagoj Vida
10Raheem Sterling11Marcelo Brozović
67'
11Marcus Rashford
73'
8Nikola Vlašić
79'
Bench
13Jack Butland1Dominik Livaković
21Alex McCarthy23Karlo Letica
12Alexander-Arnold Trent14Filip Bradarić
14Jesse LIngard
78'
73'
5Matej Mitrović
15Lewis Dunk15Mario Pašalić
16Michael Keane20Marko Pjaca
17Jadon Sancho
73'
3Antonio Milić
26'
18Luke Shaw19Milan Badelj
19Harry Winks17Marko Rog
79'
20Bamidele Alli
64'
7Josip Brekalo
46'
22Ruben Ira Loftus-Cheek13Duje Ćaleta-Car
23Callum Wilson22Josip Pivarić
Coaches
Gareth SouthgateZlatko Dalić

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić and international Ivan Perišić held a press conference at Wembley Stadium regarding the decisive clash with England.

Zlatko Dalić

"We have great respect for England, it was really difficult in Moscow and Rijeka. Now, they are even younger, even faster, and Sterling and Rashford can outrun anyone. England is especially dangerous with long balls, in set-pieces, and counterattacking. We have to find solutions, stay firm and aggressive, and repeat the performance against Spain. Then, I fear no one. Croatia and England know each other very well, we are sporting rivals and both teams want to win. There is no greater incentive than to come to Wembley, one of the best stadiums in the world. I understand that English fans want trophies, but we want to win the group. There are a lot of options, and we do not seek alibis"

Ivan Perišić

"Croatia did not start very well in the UEFA Nations League, but we're getting better and we'll be going for another major victory. The players are always motivated to play for their country. We will give our best, and hopefully repeat the performance against Spain. No one can be considered a favourite to beat England at home, but I believe we stand a chance. They are young and ambitious, and we are aware of our mistakes that have to be corrected. This will be an entirely open match, with both teams seeking all three points"

 

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foto: HNS
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