A capsule look at the Croatia-England World Cup semifinal - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

A capsule look at the Croatia-England World Cup semifinal

By The Associated Press

A capsule look at Wednesday's World Cup semifinal match between Croatia and England in Moscow (2 p.m. EDT, 9 p.m. local):

WHY CROATIA WILL WIN

A generation of players in their primes, or just past their primes, led by a strong midfield with Ivan Pericic (29), Ivan Rakatic (30) and Luka Modric (32), with Mario Mandzukic (32) heading the attack.

WHY ENGLAND WILL WIN

After falling short for generations, coach Gareth Southgate has put together a team that is playing like a team. Striker Harry Kane was the only standout heading into the tournament. Plus the Croats are coming off consecutive penalty-kick wins and figure to have to more tired legs.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Croatia: 4-2-3-1 - Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Kamaric, Perisic; Mandzukic

England: 3-5-2 - Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Henderson, Trippier, Alli, Lingard, Young; Sterling, Kane

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey will referee his second straight World Cup semifinal match, after Argentina's penalty-kick win over the Netherlands four years ago. Cakir worked Iran's 1-0 win over Morocco and Argentina's 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the group stage this year, and he refereed Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final.

WORLD CUP HISTORY

In England's last semifinal match, Andreas Brehme's 60th-minute shot deflected off an onrushing Paul Parker at the penalty arc and looped over goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put West Germany ahead. England tied the score when Parker's cross bounced off Juergen Kohler and fell to Gary Lineker, who beat goalkeeper Bodo Illgner to the far post in the 80th minute. In the shootout, Stuart Pearce was stopped by Illgner on England's fourth attempt, Olaf Thon converted for a 4-3 lead and Chris Waddle shot over the crossbar.

Croatia went ahead in the 1998 semifinals only 26 seconds into the second half when Aljosa Asanovic split the defense with a pass, and Davor Suker scored his fifth goal of the tournament. Lilian Thuram tied the score a minute later after stealing the ball from Zvonimir Boban near the Croat penalty area and exchanging passes with Youri Djorkaeff. Thuram scored the go-ahead goal with a curling shot in the 70th minute, and France won 2-1.

CROATIA GOALS

vs. Nigeria (2-0): own-goal (32), Modric (71-penalty)

vs. Argentina (3-0): Rebic (53), Modric (80), Rakatic (90+1)

vs. Iceland (2-1): Badelj (53), Perisic (90)

vs. Denmark (1-1, 3-2 penalty kicks): Mandzukic (4)

vs. Russia (2-2, 4-3 penalty kicks): Kramaric (39), Vida (101)

ENGLAND GOALS

vs. Tunisia (2-1): Kane (11, 90+1)

vs. Panama (6-1): Stones (8, 40), Kane (22, 45+1-penalty, 62), Lingard (36)

vs. Belgium (0-1)

vs. Colombia (1-1, 4-3 penalty kicks): Kane (57-penalty)

vs. Sweden (2-0): Maguire (30), Alli (59)

HEAD TO HEAD

Croatians played for Yugoslavia before splitting off in 1990. England has four wins, two losses and one draw in the matchup, including a 4-2 victory in the group stage of the 2004 European Championship. The teams have not met since qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, when England won 4-1 in Zagreb and 5-1 at Wembley Stadium. England goalkeeper Paul Robinson kicked at and missed a backpass from Gary Neville, allowing an own-goal in a 2-0 loss in a European qualifier in 2006. Goalkeeper Scott Carson fumbled Niki Kranjcar's shot into the net for the opening goal as Croatia won 3-2 at Wembley the following year, causing England to miss Euro 2008. England coach Steve McClaren held a large red-and-blue umbrella on the sidelines and was mocked as the "Wally with the brolly," and he was fired the next day. They are drawn into the same group of the initial Nations League, a new competition kicking off this autumn.

SUSPENSIONS

None

INJURY CONCERNS

Croatia right back Sime Vrsaljko walked slowly off the field with an apparent leg injury when he was replaced in extra time of the quarterfinals.

England midfielder Dele Alli has not played a full match since injuring a thigh against Tunisia.

JUST SAYING

Croatia: "It won't be easy for us. We will focus in the next few days to recover as much as possible. We will look for the best solutions ahead the match, considering we have a few players with minor issues after the match against Russia. It won't be easy, but to get into the semifinals it's a new motive for us." - Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, through a translator

England: "Probably 18 months ago I talked to them about if you have success with England, it will be so much bigger than anything you can imagine, and I think that is probably starting to register with them now." - England coach Gareth Southgate

STATS

Goals: Croatia 10, England 11

Assists: 6/5

Shots: 78/70

Shots on goal: 19/19

Shots off target: 39/30

Shots blocked: 20/21

Yellow cards: 12/5

Red cards: 0/0

Corner kicks: 26/30

Offsides: 7/12

Fouls committed: 78/53

Fouls conceded: 80/69

Ball possession: 55 percent/54 percent

Passes attempted/completed: 2,736/2,261 (83 percent), 2,665/2,318 (87 percent)

Distance covered: 360.8 miles (580.66 kilometers)/351.1 miles (565.06 kilometers)

___

More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-07-22 17:48:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
  • Man suspected of shooting officer found, killed by police

    Man suspected of shooting officer found, killed by police

    Friday, July 20 2018 10:31 PM EDT2018-07-21 02:31:50 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-07-22 17:48:13 GMT
    (Hawaii County Police Department via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Hawaii County Police Department shows Officer Bronson Kaliloa. Hawaii's entire Big Island police force was on alert Wednesday, July 18, 2018, for Justin Josh...(Hawaii County Police Department via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Hawaii County Police Department shows Officer Bronson Kaliloa. Hawaii's entire Big Island police force was on alert Wednesday, July 18, 2018, for Justin Josh...
    Authorities in Hawaii say two associates of a man suspected of killing a Big Island police officer have been arrested but the shooter remains at large.More >>
    Authorities in Hawaii say two associates of a man suspected of killing a Big Island police officer have been arrested but the shooter remains at large.More >>
  • Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer-winning restaurant critic, dies

    Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer-winning restaurant critic, dies

    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:53 PM EDT2018-07-22 03:53:49 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:47 PM EDT2018-07-22 17:47:49 GMT
    Jonathan Gold, who became the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, has died.More >>
    Jonathan Gold, who became the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, has died.More >>
Powered by Frankly