Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Croatia boss Dalic: 'England have no real weakness'

Croatia boss Dalic: 'England have no real weakness'

"I'm not thinking about it, only about my national team succeeding", he said.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has backed his team's defense to quell England striker Harry Kane when the sides meet in their World Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

"In the second half and in extra time we dominated, we should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama", he added. "I'm not sure how it affected him".

President Vladimir Putin was among those who praised the team on Saturday for their World Cup 2018 journey. Asked if England will be treated as just another game, the gregarious former Tottenham Hotspur defender, who has 102 caps, said: "No". That is a great source of pride for us.

"We tried. I think the whole team gave 100 percent".

A World Cup champion will be crowned on Sunday.

Jordan Henderson had been doubtful with a hamstring problem for England but has been passed fit to play meaning Southgate has a fully-fit squad to pick from, including Jamie Vardy, who has recovered from a groin injury sustained against Colombia.

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However, Russia opened their campaign on a high, putting on an attacking masterclass and crushing a woeful Saudi Arabian side 5-0 in Moscow.

Cherchesov had gone into the tournament as a much-maligned coach, with the team on a run of seven games without a win and as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.

"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses - they are in the semi-finals that says it all, ' he told the media".

But the Russian team showed heart and won what seemed like the entire nation's gratitude.

"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses - they are in the semi-finals, that says it all", he said.

Excitement was building in Croatia on Wednesday ahead of the World Cup semi-final against England, with tens of thousands of fans expected to watch the match on public screens across the country. While neither was in the top 10 for this year's World Cup in either categories, that match provided the launch pad for the 3.5 million sets of eyeballs and 2.92 in the early metrics ratings of Brazil's 2-1 loss to Belgium.

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