Mario Mandzukic: Croatia have what it takes to surprise England keeper Pickford

Andreas Granqvist

GettyAndreas Granqvist's wife gave birth on Friday

Both teams will go into the game with caution because it's a semi-final and these matches can be decided by a mistake or great individual goal. "That is what makes us good", Mandzukic said.

But the spark seems to have gone in knockout stages and instead they have had to rely on more on resilience to get them through against less gifted opponents.

He said: "We've seen throughout the games that he is doing really well".

England is basking in the team s run to the last four of the World Cup as fans start to believe that they can lift the trophy for the first time since 1966.

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Mario Mandzukic spent €4,000 buying drinks for people in his hometown to watch Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties at the World Cup.

"But now, I pray and I would give anything in the world that this squad eventually "confines us to history".

'The most important thing for me is that my national team succeeded and that we do something big.

The teams then traded two scores each before Ivan Rakitic converted the winning penalty. "They look very attack-minded and play attractive football". "We made ourselves happy, but we also made everybody back home in Croatia happy".

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The team was traveling from Sochi to Moscow on Sunday to set up camp for two days of training ahead of the semifinal.

However, with five minutes of extra time left, Russia's defender Mario Fernandes equalized for the hosts, taking the game to penalties.

This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russian Federation going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run. The die-hard football fanatic had earlier met the (former) Argentinan team in the U.S., former French great Robert Pires, Brazilian footballer Kaka and he feels blessed.

After a dramatic win on penalties against Russia, Croatia will play England on Wednesday night (AEST) in front of 80,000 people in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the World Cup final. "Hopefully our right-back Sime Vrsaljko is not so injured like he thinks, so hopefully we can manage".

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Now they are looking to go one step further, but just getting this far is a source of great pride for Croatia.

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