World Cup 2018: news and reaction as England set up Croatia semi-final – live!

- Advertisement -

It’s difficult to believe a run to the World Cup semis could be anything other than a unifying force but there is plenty going on in Croatia to undercut the gains made by Luka Modric and co.

Related: Croatia’s World Cup run divides nation where football is never just sport | Aleksandar Holiga

Russia’s disappointment at falling agonisingly short against Croatia was evident, but the hosts added greatly to this World Cup with their unexpected run to the quarter-finals, as Stuart James reports.

To get this far, though, was beyond the dreams of most Russian football fans. The lowest-ranked nation in the tournament were a punchbag for their media before a ball had been kicked. They had failed to win in seven matches and the sense of pessimism was overwhelming. “Doomed to fail” ran the headline on the front page of the Moscow Times the day before Russia’s opening game against Saudi Arabia. “Our weakest national team in history,” said Alexander Bubnov, a former USSR defender.

Related: Russia ‘demobilised’ early from World Cup but with nation won over

Continue reading…

Written by Jonathan Howcroft (now) Gregg Bakowski (later)
This news first appeared on under the title “World Cup 2018: news and reaction as England set up Croatia semi-final – live!”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.