Croatia defender blasts England's style of play - Daily Nation

Croatia defender blasts England's style of play

Thursday July 12 2018

Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko celebrates their Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final match against England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |

Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko celebrates their Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final match against England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGES |  

Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko accused England of reverting to long-ball tactics during his team's thrilling World Cup semi-final win on Wednesday.

A sublime free-kick from Kieran Trippier put England ahead, but goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic saw Croatia to a 2-1 win after extra time.

While Gareth Southgate's men have been praised for their style in Russia, Vrsaljko – who produced an excellent display at right-back – felt England became direct once his team got on top.

"We were good. We controlled the game, but there's always tension with us, we always concede this early goal and have shocks," he said.

"It was a matter of time before we would score. It wasn't easy, but I think we were physically ready."

Vrsaljko added: "There's always talk that this isn't England that skips the game – but it's obvious that as soon as we started to play, they started to boot the ball.

"We're in the final, it's a dream, but we aren't stopping here."

Vrsaljko also hit out at the media, with England favourites going into the last-four clash.

"Their statements were motivation," he said. "Get out on the pitch and then talk, that's what we did."

Croatia face France in the World Cup final on Sunday.