Belgium lashed out at France for their defensive tactic in the last night semi-final match when Belgium lost 1-0 to France. A number of Belgium players tossed some snappy comments on France tactics as they could not absorb the painful defeat. To Belgium, France robbed them of victory.
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois went one step ahead, he said, ‘France have played anti-football. I have not yet experienced that a striker plays so far from goal. It’s their right to play like that... but it’s not nice to see. Not only the French tactics, but the referee... he didn’t call well at all.’
Echoing Courtois, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard said, ‘I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France.’
Tonight, England will take on Croatia in the second match of the semi-finals. Like the previous match, this one is also going to be a nail-biting match, or at least there will be no underdog side. Both sides are in form and ready to destroy any of their opponent who will dare to barge in their mission to duly claim the World Cup.
However, after the last night semi-final match, the scenario has changed drastically. Perhaps, both sides have started to develop strategy afresh. And we may see another defensive match. But, we should not entirely blame the tactics of a team as when the most prestigious cup is in one’s heart, one cannot easily let his feet slip. Besides, we should not forget that both have come to this stage after years. Therefore, we may see England’s second line of defense forming with midfielders in front of the back four and the strikers marking and pressing the opponent.
Unlike England, Croatia have never won a World Cup. Therefore, they will seek to make history by reaching the final for the first time and then winning it by defeating France. The Croatians have beaten Denmark and Russia in the previous qualifiers and they are already being compared to the Croatia of 1998 that achieved the third place in the World Cup in France, led by the national legend Davor Suker.
Modric and Rakitic form a wonderful multi-talented pair, feared by the big teams. In the attack, they have proven players.
On the other hand, England want to repeat their historical achievement of 1966. The English team always qualify to the World Cup but ends up disappointing their country people due to their underperformance. However, in this World Cup, with the leadership of Southgate, England look very promising with or without the ball and decisive in set pieces. The sensations so far are that England can reclaim its title 52 years later. To do this, they must beat Croatia.
England should never remain carefree assuming Croatia the underdog. Croatia have shown their color against Argentina when they scored three goals and conceded none. But, a stupid blunder or negligence of England might cost them the cup. And eventually, they might return home with empty hands and the world may mock them and sing, ‘England is coming home.’
The match will take place tonight at 12 am at Luzhniki Stadium, the national stadium of Russia, located at the capital.