Who’s to say where football’s home is? England’s fans were truly disappointed at one point yesterday after Croatia had managed the second point in their goal after an extended clash. Croatia had much to be happy about when the national team qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals. It’s definitely no small thing what’s happening here.
Croatia is the only team in history to manage to win two consecutive games with penalty shoot-outs in the end during a World Cup. Or at least one of the few who have. Don’t fault us for not being able to sift through decades of data. In any event, the feat is quite astonishing.
The game with England didn’t entail much disappointment to Croatia. It was a drawn-out fight that saw both teams pretty much depleted of energy.
Croatia Doesn’t Let the Side Down
Many people thought that Croatia may falter because the team had exhaustive matches against its opponents. However, what followed on Wednesday was a team that was bustling with energy. So strong were their attacks that the English defence often found itself flabbergasted by how daring and how successful can the Croatian be.
A few near-misses sent shivers down the spines of England who by that time knew that Croatia is either going to tire out or completely destroy the English dream of bringing football home. As the game progressed, the only way that this could have happened, would have been to chain football to a chair and fly it back to the UK.
It didn’t come to that and Croatia managed to keep their vim and vigour undoing the Englishmen.
The Finals Loom
And so, Croatia will be heading out for the finals in Moscow, the team will have more time to rest. The upcoming match against France will probably be a much welcome, though, difficult meet-up. France plays quite defensively and it’s difficult to reach them. The team relies on its trio of star strikers and plays the game of attrition, relying on its defenders.
Croatia, on the other hand, doesn’t mind keeping the ball in the field of the opponent and continue launching attacks on their goal. France may feel comfortable knowing the qualities of the footballers, but Mr Deschamps may need to slightly alter his strategy knowing that nobody can withstand such long barrages on their own goal for 90 or more minutes.
The chances of Croatia actually winning are slimmer of course. But here’s what we think. France definitely showed its qualities by defeating Belgium, but is that truly enough? The team played a number of respectable squads all throughout the event. It’s understandable why people are eager to give it the advantage, but arguably, Croatia had to dispatch much stronger opponents on its way to glory.
Admittedly, they lost to Brazil, but we still think that Croatia is back on track to becoming one of the world’s best football powerhouses. Germany has been on the wane in the past tournaments and new champions are finally emerging.
What to Expect?
Come what may, the bookmakers will be favouring the clear favourites, France, However, we do believe that Croatia may turn out with a few surprises up its sleeves. Getting things predicted well in the final of the World Cup is definitely not something that you can correctly.
What you can do is try to cram the data of the previous years and hopefully reach a point where you can tell if France is likely to lose to Croatia. France has maintained its football glory, though, whilst Croatia has had its comings and goings, which is what may invite some doubt when rooting for Croatia.
We aren’t exactly sure what makes us root for the team as much as we do. We love their offensive playstyle and the continuous pressure they apply to their opponents. A goalkeeper would expect the striker bearing down on him to leave him just send the game back, and that’s what the majority of athletes do to save some energy, but Croatia is quite readily making it all the way in and applying pressure pretty much everywhere.
These are the marks of a great football squad, and that’s our reason for rooting for them so readily. Make no mistake, we are sure that Croatia will be coming back to more World Cups to contest the gold, even if things go badly this weekend. Well done Croatia, and surely – excellent work in France!