A mile to go before I sleep, Croat Super-star Davor Sukur may want to say this, because before sleeping his team needs to go just a mile –90 minutes.
If Croatia can cross the path, history will be created, because post united Soviet era a team representing East Europe will hold the World Cup trophy as champions.
If yesterday’s game between England and Croatia, was the trailer of a well scripted FIFA film then the main film will be released on 15th of this month, when Croatia meet France in the FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia.
In yesterday’s game where Croatia thrashed England by 2 goals to 1, after the 120 minutes of an exciting game the legs of the players seemed to have shown their displeasure to run, lungs heaved and bodies creaked and groaned. It seemed that the Croats had hit their limits and played well beyond it.
When the final whistle blew after two periods of extra time and their 2-1 victory was officially confirmed, the Croatian players, well most of them, sank into the turf with excitement.
With all super power gone, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain; only Croatia, a country with only 4 million people, a population which is less than the population of Howrah, an area in the city of Kolkata, looks to have found the key to success in the tournament. Only France is standing between them and history.
England, however, got the first breakthrough within 5 minutes into play, which is also only the second time in FIFA World Cup where a team has scored from a free kick in just five from start of a match.
Croatia’s safe-hands goalkeeper Subasich missed the Kierran Trippier bended shot, which reminded fans of Beckham.
After that the British mid-field dominated the Croat defense through the first half. But this domination did not last in the second half.
On the 68th minute, Croatia’s Perisic found the back of the British net and equalised the score 1-1. This was enough to hold the match for the entire 90 minutes.
During extra time of the game when all were thinking about penalty kick to break the tie, Zuventus star Mario Mandzukic gave his team the lead, which extended to 120 minutes, helped Croatia reach the finals.
Expert after the game opined, “If France wants to hold the trophy for second time, then they have to finish the game with-in 90 minutes.”
Croatian Goal keeper Subasic saved many penalties in the elimination round. Penalties against Denmark, extra time and penalties against Russia and also some other great saves during the tournament. If Deshchamp wants to put himself in Fifa record book then he and his team will have to plan keeping in mind Subasic.
At the end of the day, Maradona’s tweet works. Before the start of this tournament he had said, “My mind is saying, Croatia will be this time World Cup finalist.” And boy! He is right; Davor Sukur can chant, ‘A mile to go before we sleep.’