England target World Cup final but gifted Croatia stand in the way

Tanya Simon
July 11, 2018

France star Paul Pogba has dedicated his team's World Cup semi-final win over Belgium to the group of 12 Thai youngsters who were rescued from a cave after being trapped for more than two weeks.

"In the changing room, [coach] Didier Deschamps was happy".

"There is still one more step to take, but we are proud of what we have done".

"FIFA's priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a Federation Internationale de Football Association event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration", a spokesman said.

Pogba and France overcame Belgium 1-0 in St. Petersburg to book their date in the final in Moscow on July 15.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman says today's match is being played against a political backdrop.

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Just four teams remain, all of them from Europe: Belgium, France, Croatia, and England. We had the chance to win the final of the Euros, but we missed a wonderful thing and we must not let this chance pass. "I hope it's going to be different this time, I hope we will able to bring the World Cup back to France".

Asked what Macron, who had been in the stands, said, he replied: "He said he would come back for the final, to see us with the Cup".

France lost the Euro 2016 final to Portugal. "It was hard to take two years ago, and we do not want a repeat of that". "The Euros are only two years away".

"We can feel the energy and the support from home and it´s a very special feeling and a privilege for us", Southgate said on Tuesday.

In fact, Giroud has failed to even get any of his 13 shots on target thus far - the most off-target shots a player has had at a World Cup since 1966.

"A fantastic performance by Varane and I think a very good performance by Pogba", he said.

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