By: Akínpèlú Yūsuf O
Following Wednesday’s 2:1 extratime victory over England, the headlines of Croatian dailies have taken quick droll at the English media.
Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia saw off another tense extra time semifinal tie against the Gareth Southgate’s three lions of English side with goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandžukic cancelling out Keiran Trippier glorious freekick.
This was greeted with euphoria in the nation’s media amidst droll and jibes hauled at the English press.
The English media had earlier, after the match, been accused by the Croatian skipper, Luca Modric, who told ITV, that they were been “underestimated”.
“People were talking…English journalists, pundits from television. They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake.”
The Croatian dailies then took it from there. Večenji list newspaper went with the headline “povijesna pobjeda — hrvatska ljubav koja ne može proć” meaning: “We knocked the English down, Croatia are in the World Cup final!” In Jankovic’s opinion in the paper wrote how Croatia and France will now decide “who plays the best football on the planet at the moment”, answering that, “It’s Croatia, don’t even doubt that!”
The Guardian also revealed how 24 stata idemo, with the top header: po zlato! — let’s go for gold! headlined its front page with: Niste sanjali u finalu smo — you aren’t dreaming, this is reality.
Sportske novosti, the nation’s only daily sports newspaper, took another dimension. “France, who are better than England, can hardly stop them,” wrote Drazen Antolic. “That will be a true final, a top clash between the two sides who have shown the most at the tournament.”
Index.hr, a popular website, acknowledged that England were the better side in the first half, but when Ivan Perisic scored, Sasa Cobanov wrote for the site, “it was the beginning of the end for the English”.
Telesport’s Juraj Vrdoljak also latched at the celebration. He compared Croatia’s second-half comeback to an “adrenaline-driven man lifting a truck to save his child”. Croatia emerged victorious, he added, after “clinching her teeth and biting on a knife in the manner of Cholo’s commandos before using it to rip the history apart at the finishing line”.
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