World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Croatia can upset France
The golden generation of Croatia made history on Wednesday when they beat England 2-1 in the second semi-final of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia to reach their first ever major tournament final.
The game began with The Three Lions taking an early lead as Right-back Kieran Trippier fired home a spectacular free-kick in the fifth minute.
The first half saw plenty of chances being created by England but Croatia was able to resist the pressure and were only a goal down at half-time.
Croatia began the second half more positively and were rewarded with an equalizer in the 68th minute as Ivan Perišić scored from a close-range shot. The regulation time ended with both sides tied at one goal apiece.
The extra-time saw a dominating Croatian side as they continued to attack and took the lead for the very first time when Mario Mandžukić scored in the 109th minute. In the remaining time, there wasn't any significant pressure being created by England and the one-goal lead was enough for Croatia to reach their first ever World Cup final.
They now play against France in the all-important final on Sunday at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow and we shall look at three reasons why Croatia can upset tournament favourites France and go all the way to clinch their maiden World Cup title.
#3 Golden generation's golden opportunity
The Croatian team of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France was dubbed as the golden generation due to their third-place finish but this 'second' golden generation has overshadowed the former by going a step further and reaching the final.
The Croatian camp is well aware that unlike traditional football playing countries such as Germany, Argentina and Brazil they can't build a strong squad every four years to become title contenders.
Croatia had to wait 20 years to reach the World Cup knockout stage and will look to take full advantage of this opportunity. It is safe to say that the East European nation will never get a better chance than this to etch its name in footballing history and for the players to become instant legends if they get their hands on the coveted prize.
Croatia will enter the final as underdogs but at the same time, they will be full of confidence as they have achieved unprecedented success in the past one month.
Every player will play to his full potential so that there are no regrets when the final whistle is blown. The team shall not make any tactical changes and play according to its strength.
Eight years ago in 2010, the Dutch team was very close to creating history but apparently, the pressure of playing a World Cup final got to them as they diverged from their traditional Total-football tactics and played a very rough game and lost 1-0 in extra-time to Spain.
The Croatians will take a lesson from the past and ensure that they don't let the nerves get to them.