England cruises, Croatia wins on penalties once again

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Les Bleus are led by Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and 19-year-old phenom Kylian Mbappe, who is now the favorite to take home the Golden Ball (best player at the tournament) and the Young Player Award, won by Pogba at the 2014 World Cup.

Prediction France have improved after a slow start in the group stages where they made hard work of Australia and Peru.

Coming off a 2018 World Cup that is absent any Team USA and hence down from the American participating 2014 tournament, yesterday's 10:45 AM PT starting Croatia v. Russian Federation game also provided a nice lift for Fox.

Croatia is in the World Cup semifinals for the second time and first since 1998 when they first entered the competition following the break-up of Yugoslavia.

"Thank you for the honest, genuine emotions you gave us thoughout the World Cup", they wrote. Croatia's first female President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was in attendance on the night her team dumped hosts Russian Federation out of the tournament following a 4-3 penalty shootout win. From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading. "My mum and sister watched every one of their World Cup games at my place, passionately supporting them, and they have never watched football in their lives!"

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It set the tone as Croatia became the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win consecutive World Cup games on penalties. Brazilian-born Mario Fernandes thanked the fans in Russian, saying, "Thank you, Russia". They're dealing with injuries to their starting right back, their goalkeeper and a handful of other players who could probably use a week in the ice bath. They also trailed Croatia 1-0 in the semifinals before earning a 2-1 win.

"We have proved we are a football nation. But I think we have such wonderful players, very experienced and we showed it in the penalties that we have the players who are playing in the best teams in the world".

Rakitic was the hero against Russian Federation, converting the winning penalty just as he did in the round-of-16 shootout win over Denmark.

"Russia has shown the world what kind of championship we can have - the best in the world", said another fan.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has said his side have already "managed to stop Messi" and so can cope with England's Harry Kane in Wednesday's semi-final.