England got off to an ideal start against Croatia, taking an early lead from a freekick, but the three lions failed to increase their advantage, with both Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane missing key chances in the latter part of the first half.
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— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 11, 2018
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Although they only narrowly missed out on progressing to the final, it can be argued England didn’t even deserve to be in the semi-final and potentially avoided humiliation by not going on to play France’s star-studded team.
Despite encouraging spells during their opening match against Tunisia, England just about managed to beat one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament. In their second group stage match, they comfortably thrashed Panama, but were unable to keep a clean sheet against the Central Asian side.
England’s first real test came against Belgium, but both managers opted to field their second-string teams, so the match didn’t offer a true indication of the teams’ relative performance in a competitive setting.
In any case, Belgium looked the better side over the course of the match, and ultimately emerged victorious after Real Sociedad winger Adnan Januzaj scored a stunning goal.
If they were able to make it to the final against France, it’s hard to imagine they’d be able to beat Didier Deschamps’ team, but, at the same time, the score line is unlikely to have suggested they were thrashed, as the French side have generally held back after gaining an advantage over their opponents.
Although this strategy has made for some boring games, it has worked for them thus far, and we can expect them to utilize it during the World Cup final against Croatia this Sunday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.