Mandzukic pays £3,000 for beer consumed by fans during win over Russian Federation

Mandzukic pays £3,000 for beer consumed by fans during win over Russian Federation

The 3-0 comprehensive win over Lionel Messi's Argentina remains their tournament best performance but England will provide a stern test after Russian Federation and Denmark both stretched Dalic's side to the limit.

Juventus striker Mandzukic is a big fan - but insists his team have what it takes to beat the England No1 and make it to their first World Cup final.

Belgium faced a heart-stopping moment of uncertainty in the first knockout round against Japan, when Martinez's decision to rest players in their final group match against England nearly backfired spectacularly.

The national team's unexpected run to the quarterfinals sparked a surge of support from fans who had been mostly indifferent before the World Cup started.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic rates Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against England as "50/50".

The Croatians looked more comfortable from the spot, netting four of their five attempts with midfielder Ivan Rakitic firing home the decisive effort to put them into the semi-finals, prompting tears from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. I really don't know.

The biggest question mark now surrounds the fitness of a team who have gone the full distance in their last two matches and had several players struggling with injuries against Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin backing boosts Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov and his players
We'll see if I can allow him to play from the first minute. Now Russia braces for the Croatia challenge. "I had them and the guys did".

And so in England, 1966 seems but yesterday and the names of World Cup winners Bobby Moore or Geoff Hurst are present in English hearts and minds.

"Croatia, maybe, have several more experienced players but we also have great young players".

"Our last three games were different because we played teams with a defensive approach", he said. "He congratulated us on a very good game". They deserve to have reached the quarter-finals. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

The last time Les Bleus were in the last four at a World Cup, a penalty from captain Zidane gave France a 1-0 win over Portugal in Germany 2006.

There have even been calls for Modric to win the Ballon d'Or award, given to the best player in a calendar year.

Now they are looking to go one step further, but just getting this far is a source of great pride for Croatia.

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