Croatia

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 Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring the winning goal in their World Cup semi-final against England having earlier been dragged off in agony. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. England’s plan was working perfectly until the 65th minute here in Moscow, when that fateful(...)

England manager Gareth Southgate hugs England skipper Harry Kane after the World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia in Moscow. Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez put a braver face on it after Belgium’s defeat, claiming that a win this weekend would be still be important but Gareth Southgate adm(...)

England players stand dejected after their 2018 World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia in Moscow. Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

There was, literally, breaking news on the radio on Wednesday morning about light rain being spotted in one or two parts of the country, like it was S(...)

England fans watch England’s 2018 World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

The carryout bags are full. Doritos and beer. Red bags and white bags. Lots of them. A takeaway rush hour at 6.45pm. Some are going home, others to th(...)

England’s Raheem Sterling during training ahead of their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia in Moscow. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

World Cup semi-final: Croatia v England (Luzhniki Stadium, Wednesday 7pm – live on RTÉ 2 and ITV) Few political leaders can ever have needed the sort(...)

Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane train ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

THE MATCHES Semi-finals: Croatia v England (7.0, Luzhniki Stadium, ITV/RTÉ2) Betting: Croatia 13-5, England 27-20, Draw 21-10 ONE TO WATCH England’(...)

England’s Harry Kane and Phil Jones play with a toy rooster during training ahead of their  World Cup semi-final  against Croatia. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

Four years ago, as England prepared to face Uruguay in a decisive World Cup match in São Paulo, the England captain Steven Gerrard gathered his player(...)

Dejan Lovren celebrates after Croatia beat Russia in their penalty shootout in Sochi. Photograph: Reuters/Carl Recine

Dejan Lovren replied in the only way that he could in the circumstances. Asked whether he was looking forward to playing against Harry Kane in Wednesd(...)

Ashley Young  during an England press conference in Saint Petersburg. “It’ll be a tough game, so we’ve got to be mentally and physically prepared for what they will throw at us.” Photograph:   Hassenstein/Getty Images

England are confident they will beat any lingering effects of fatigue from an increasingly hectic campaign by the time they start their first World Cu(...)

Gareth Southgate: Miracle man? Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

And then there were four. Although perhaps only 3½, Croatia looking like a side more ready for a health farm than a World Cup semi-final by the time t(...)

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