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Boost for England as Croatia star is ruled out

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FIFA World Cup: Fans battle it out ahead Croatia vs England semifinal today

Federation Internationale de Football Association is letting a top Croatian soccer official watch the team's World Cup semifinal against England from a VIP section on Wednesday despite him being convicted last month in a corruption case linked to the transfer of Luka Modric.

After a night of drama, England found a way to stay in the World Cup. "Only great teams can be as fearless as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England", said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday's final after their 2-1 extra-time win.

It's the ninth goal England has scored from a free kick, corner, or penalty thus far in the tournament, more than any other team in the field.

"So we'll see. There are two very good teams playing well and it's going to be an interesting match".

Several hundred fans from Slavonski Brod watched the shootout on big screens in the grounds of Brod Fortress on a bar tab provided by hometown hero - and the team's star striker - Mario Mandzukic.

He said on Twitter: "Thank you to our incredible YOUNG team".

"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup".

But not everyone from Bournemouth will be rooting for Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson. A post-match news conference after the loss to Croatia looked like the last place he wanted to be.

The song, performed by The Lightning Seeds, was a massive hit during Euro 96 when England reached the semi-finals in a gloriously hot summer.

"I'm a huge soccer fan", Barajas said as the match, tied 1-1, went into extra time.

Nick Colgan, originally from South Yardley in Birmingham, has lived in the country for the past 15 years.

Across the country, fans sent their beers flying in the air in celebration of the goal, costing untold pounds in refills.

"I get a lot of vibes from England with the chants and all that stuff".

Croatia fans in NZ party at fulltime.

Should England hold on to win, the Three Lions will face France in the final on Sunday. "So I made a decision to build a pub", Lewis said. "I've been jokingly saying that football's coming home, but now there's no reason why we can't win it". "[France] President Emmanuel Macron came down to see us. So for me it has a slightly different feel", Southgate told reporters on Tuesday, before adding: "But it's nice to hear people are listening to it again". "I don't think realistically we expected to be here".

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