France peaking perfectly ahead of final

France peaking perfectly ahead of final

France peaking perfectly ahead of final

Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in the semi-final clash in Moscow, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the victor in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier's free-kick opener.

With Croatia or England awaiting in Sunday's final, the formula is one game away from working again. "The set piece was really well taken as well, and that helped me beat someone as good as Fellaini in the air".

"We have two days to prepare". We will give this final match everything. There's no question about that. We've played five hard games and they've taken their toll. "We came up against a very good Belgium side which controlled the game more than us".

"But that will be the challenge". "We've shown our character".

"But we will do that and we'll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work. But we want to fulfill our destiny".

Southgate and his players are sure to be greeted as heroes when they return from Russian Federation, but underlying frustration will linger after missing their shot at glory.

"Today I'm happy but it's not like the Euros".

Jamie Carragher says England have created a club-like buzz back home after reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup. And we've proved that is possible. "We want to finish this tournament in the best possible way", said captain Hugo Lloris after another series of heroic saves on Tuesday. It will be a different sort of scenario.

Many fans and players pay little attention to the third-place playoff but for Belgium, to win it would go one better than an earlier "golden generation" who lost both the semi-final and playoff in 1986.

"After that, he [Mbappe] has such a bright future ahead of him".

The Stuttgart defender has been a revelation for France at full-back and is one of the most underrated players of the tournament and could earn himself a big money move post the final.

The French could not reject a call from the team that he represented as a player between 1994 and 1999.

"It's tough, we're gutted", Kane said. We have to appreciate it and we are going to share this happiness with our families. "They know we've got beaten but we've come so far".

"But we've won a lot of matches that historically England haven't won". "They are young, but there is character, and mentality - it was tough for them against this Belgium side".

"But I think within the games that we've played, we've played exciting, attacking football".

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