Croatia 2-1 England
Game Over – It’s Coming Home
Bye Bye 2 the solitary resource of Set-Pieces’ Architecture to the game – Welcome Old-School Football.
Play 2 Win – Champions + Fans
Play not 2 lose – Losers & Co.
&England learned the hardest way how to improve the standards of football.
Everyone is proud for obvious reasons, but they still have a long road to take in order to go to a level of Excellency.
Yes Liverpool was in the final of the Champions League – Did they win? NO
Yes Manchester City was amazingly outstanding – did they go far in the European competitions? NO
Yes England has reached the semi-finals of the World Cup? Did they win the trophy like 1966? NO
- Too Many “NO” and too many “maybes” in the path of England.
They will require much more football than architectural set-pieces.
YES, those are of the utmost importance, but NO, they do not necessarily bring you titles, especially under the circumstance that you score one and sit-back waiting for the rest of the 90 minutes to elapse with a 1-0 lead.
England scored one of the best goals in the World Cup with a touch of individual brilliance of the great Kieran Trippier in the opening 5 minutes through a direct free-kick. The best period that England had throughout the whole match.
England played the same approach as Belgium did versus France and they were beaten with the same margin – 1 Goal. France 1-0 Belgium ; Croatia 2-1 England.
Kane & Sterling and Kane & Rashford were equal to Lukaku + Hazard with Delle Ali fulfilling the role of Kevin de Bruyne while Henderson was the Fellaini of England. Walker was Alderweireld.
With the difference that Pickford was amazingly brilliant and apart from it, we have only witnessed a prodigious Trippier, as England ended up like the Tottenham player – Injured. England was intellectually & emotionally injured ever since they enter the field with only Trippier managing to bring joy as all the others were way too focused in heading to Fisht Stadium + flip-flops and the beach to join the Russians and family.
They saw themselves trailing behind very early in the match, and while they would normally take 11 minutes to hit one back to level matches in the last 5 opportunities they had, it took them more than 45 to get that done. But it is better late than never. Never means England, Next (final) means Croatia. They have fought exhaustively to get the result and they have got it!! CONGRATULATIONS HRVASTKA!!
On the 119th minute, Croatia made a signature substitute – They removed Modric and placed Badelj to play. They could easily have just taken Modric out of the field and could have decided to play with 10. The damage was done on the opposition. They sent a clear message with the last few breaths of the match saying there was oxygen only for one bread of footballer – The WINNERS.
England had a last set-piece and did not even made the effort of sending Pickford and everyone else in the stadium to the penalty-box of Croatia, instead for them not to “South Korea/Neuer”, it was better to lose 2-1 rather than trying to clinch the 2-2.
No Penalties, No More luck, no more ultra-hype.
Yes, England did show signs throughout the World Cup that they could change their football approach, policies and recreate the greatness they had in 1966 and almost in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but playing not to lose, or not to concede more while trailing late in the match, will take them anywhere, except to the Gold Trophy… excuse us. Apart from Kane’s potential Golden Boot and Golden glove for Pickford.
Zlatko Dalic’s tactical prowess straight out of the Middle East meant the difference – Cool, Calm, incisive and fashionable (as much or beyond Southgate).
As Aحmd @_aa98_ wrote:
“From Coaching a mid-tier club in Saudi Arabia to the world cup final. Zlatko Dalic ladies and gentlemen 👏🏼”
2008–2009 Dinamo Tirana
2009–2010 Slaven Belupo
2012–2013 Al-Hilal B
2017 – Croatia
The greater the risk, the higher the reward – That’s how Dalic invested his mind into the managerial position in Croatia National Team – The Return-on-Investment is more than obvious. Pure Fire, Pure Talent, Pure Excellency.
Whatever happens next, glory has been achieved and history has been wrote.
(I. Perišić '68 | M. Mandžukić '109 ; K. Trippier '5)