Mandzukic: Don't worry, I still have something in me for England

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At the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia's Cinderella run at the championship tumbled by a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to their European counterparts in the quarterfinals.

"I do not think about the Golden Ball. The [Croatia] match can be called a tragic one", Dzagoev said in an interview that was published on the Russian national football team's Youtube channel.

Apart from the experience of 103 worldwide appearances, Lloris has a few other things going his way when he's trying to stop them - including the fact he's faced numerous Belgians already while playing for Tottenham in the Premier League.

"In the second half and in extra time, we dominated and should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it was written in the stars that we had to go through extra drama", he added.


Despite the pre-World Cup barbs and snipes regarding Russia's quality and the politically-charged commentary related to the hosts, they bowed out in style, having exceeded expectations and injected the tournament with a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

'I was concentrated throughout the match, but after Rakitic's penalty the emotion came bursting out of me. "For my part I have three Tottenham teammates", Lloris said.

Mandzukic's wish in all likelihood became reality, with fans celebrating long into the night after Croatia knocked out Russian Federation on penalties to reach only their second World Cup semifinal in their history.

"Of course there is some power left for the English", he told a post-match press conference. "It turned out I didn't play much, it was hard to break into the team because they were playing great throughout the season and no coach would change a winning team, but it was a great experience".


"We expect a very tough and demanding match, like every one in the World Cup".

That mattered little though for battling coach Stanislav Cherchesov who assembled a team that defied all forecasts and made the home nation proud. The teams who are hard-working, who are compact and united, these are the teams that are still here.

"We will enjoy this victory but then we will prepare".

Robert Prosinecki, a member of the 1998 squad, said: "I would so much like that they be better than us".


Croatia vs England clash is slated for June 11. Starting right back Sime Vrsaljko had to be replaced during extra time with an apparent leg injury, though fellow defender Dejan Lovren was optimistic Sunday that Vrsaljko would be able to play with the semifinal looming on Wednesday.

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