Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

England anthem ‘Three Lions’ got one million Spotify streams on Saturday alone

Croatia's win pushed them into the semi-final for only the second time in history, where they beat England 2-1.

As the Zagreb Fire Department watch the final penalty by Ivan Rakitic the callout bell rings, launching the firefighters into action. France has been one of the most complete sides in the tournament, topping Belgium in the semifinal round. It seemed that after making its way to the final, the French didn't plan to make any major shifts in the last match-no matter who their opponent is.

Croatia's dream goes on while England wake up. "We are about mental strength and solidarity, working for each other".

Croatia's Sime Vrsaljko clears a header from England's John Stones off the line during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

In the end, neither Croatia nor England was expected to make it this deep into the tournament, but here they are and France is waiting.

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"They are young but they have character, a (winning) mentality".

The French have relied on the attacking brilliance of 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappé while Croatia have depended on Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic to spearhead their attack.

"There's no weakness in a team that is in the final". As a result, English soccer fans have once again adopted "It's coming home" as the country's rallying cry during this year's World Cup run.

And, specifically for the crowds back in England, it was a chance to fling all those pints of beer high overhead.

Very early on, oddsmakers had the French as the favorites in Sunday's World Cup final.

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