Croatia's 'miracle' run built on teamwork rather than stars - Zlatko Dalic

Paul Pogba France

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, along with his assistants Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti, will officiate the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ between France and Croatia on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in the semi-final clash in Moscow, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the victor in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier´s free-kick opener.

England's run to the World Cup final would be, on paper at least, one of the easiest since Federation Internationale de Football Association began ranking worldwide teams in 1993.

Both teams are in their second third-place match, Belgium having lost to France in 1986 and England to Italy four years later.

Paul Pogba insists France are not favourites against Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday in Moscow.

That game is best known for Turkey forward Hakan Sukur scoring the fastest World Cup goal in history, needing only 11 seconds to make it 1-0. I think it is too easy to move on immediately from what we've just been through.

Hopes had already begun to fade before Croatia scored their winning goal and there were cries of agony when the ball hit the back of the net.

"But equally we want to be a team that are hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals - that is what we have aimed to do in the long term".

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"Dream, Dream, Dream! Croatia are in the World Cup final", said the Sportske Novosti newspaper, adding that coach Zlatko Dalic "has entered into legend" after bettering the achievement of the 1998 team.

However, the biggest concern looking ahead to Sunday´s game is bound to be fatigue, with Croatia having also required extra time and penalties to come through ties against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation in the past two weeks.

The first half of Wednesday's game had Croatia lagging behind 0-1 after a goal from England's Kevin Trippier only five minutes in.

"We are conscious of the situation, we do not want to make the same mistakes like two years ago".

Dalic says that the players' mental strength and character over the last two weeks have helped him get through all the drama. "It is the most important one of all".

"They've had an incredible route to the final". "We played today better than against Argentina. I would like to thank all of the staff who came in on days off to assist us".

"By the end several players were out on their feet and we were down to 10".

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