Zlatko Dalic: 'We can stop Harry Kane'

Russian fans left heartbroken as Croatia dumps the host nation out the 2018 World Cup

Russian fans left heartbroken as Croatia dumps the host nation out the 2018 World Cup

Belgium has never been to the final of a World Cup, but that's exactly what they look poised to do as the highest-ranked team (No. 3 in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings) left in the tournament.

Speaking on the eve of Croatia's meeting with England, Dalic said: "We are a country where anything is possible, so there are no surprises". We have played five games, but being exhausted can not be an alibi. Everyone has been out on the streets celebrating what we've achieved and that is a great source of pride for us.

Lovren brushed aside his last Kane showdown before Croatia's England clash.

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it".

Dalic, who enjoyed a solid but unspectacular career as a midfielder in Croatia, was given the national job past year after success as a coach in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Croatia will now face England on Wednesday in Moscow and after two long and tiring games they will surely start as heavy-legged underdogs.

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Talisman Modric suggested that it was destiny for the match to be decided by a penalty shootout, their second in two knockout matches after overcoming Denmark on spot-kicks in the round of 16.

"It's his quality that he's been showing for many years".

"We watched England and we saw how strong they are", Modric said in the post match press conference after his sides quarter-final victory. Defenders John Stones and Harry Maguire have combined to score three goals, with England's proficiency from set-pieces has seen them score eight of their 11 goals.

About 10,000 Croatia fans are expected among 80,000 people in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, including Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. The European side hadn't managed to taste success in seven matches in the lead-up to the quadrennial tournament and lost a few key players, including influential striker Alexandr Kokorin, to injury.

Now, finally, there is a team ready to join them in Croatian football's pantheon of heroes.

Last October, Dejan Lovren was tormented so badly by Harry Kane that he could've been forgiven for feeling at that stage that his Liverpool days were numbered. "Why didn't you ask me about my good performances instead of nitpicking?" His team-mates play at top-drawer clubs.

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