Croatia will take on England for a place in the World Cup final on exactly the same day, 20 years on, of its greatest triumph.
On 11 July 1998 Croatia lifted themselves from a heart-breaking 2-1 semi-final loss against France to beat the Netherlands by the same scoreline in the 3rd and 4th playoff match.
Goals from Robert Prosinečki and Davor Šuker, which gave the Croatian striker the Golden Boot title, were enough to give Croatia the win and bronze on that famous night.
The 1998 FIFA World Cup in France was the first time Croatia participated in the event and will forever live in Croatian sports history as one of the nation’s finest moments, but 20 years later this generation has the opportunity to go a step further.
“We have arrived here thanks to our pride, fight and unity with which we play with. We will be more proud and show more fight. Together till the end! In spite of everything, Croatia,” striker Mario Mandzukic told fans before the biggest match of his career.
Coach Zlatko Dalic, who has yet to lose an official match in charge of the national team, is expecting a tough battle tonight in Moscow.
“A different match awaits us compared to the Iceland, Denmark and Russia matches. We have to accept that and prepare that way which maybe suits us more, but we need to be careful at set pieces. We are playing with no pressure. We came to play football, enjoy ourselves and we are not too bothered who the opponents are,” coach Dalic said.
England currently lead 3-2 in competitive head-to-head matches. The match kicks off tonight at 8 pm CET.