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From Rooney’s brilliance to McClaren’s nadir – England v Croatia past meetings

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England’s 2-0 win against Sweden on Saturday afternoon set up a semi-final showdown with Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday.

Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli got the job done for Gareth Southgate's men, and later that evening, they saw Croatia join them in the final four by defeating hosts Russia on penalties.

After the game ended 2-2, Croatia secured their second penalty shootout win of the tournament, booking a meeting with the Three Lions in the process.

Here, Press Association Sport have taken a look back at the two countries’ past four competitive meetings since Croatia gained diplomatic recognition by the United Nations in 1992.

England 4-2 Croatia - Euro 2004

Wayne Rooney was given a standing ovation at the Luz Stadium in Lisbon as England booked a place in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals against hosts Portugal in style.

Rooney, then 18, scored twice after setting up Paul Scholes for the equaliser before Frank Lampard added a late fourth in a Three Lions display which won lavish praise from the English media.

England qualified for the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time on foreign soil, but high expectation was followed by a crushing penalty shootout defeat to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the last eight.

Croatia 2-0 England - Euro 2008 Qualifer

Croatia exacted revenge with the help of goalkeeper Paul Robinson’s blunder by sending Steve McClaren’s England spinning to a dismal defeat in Zagreb.

Robinson had made a string of fine saves to ensure the first half remained goalless as Croatia laid seige on the England goal before Eduardo headed the home side into a deserved 61st-minute lead.

England's goalkeeper Paul Robinson looks

Eight minutes later Gary Neville’s back-pass bobbled up after hitting a divot on the six-yard line as Robinson went to clear and the goalkeeper watched in agony as the ball rolled in.

England 2-3 Croatia - Euro 2008 Qualifer

England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 was confirmed after another woeful display at Wembley, which earned McClaren his ‘Wally with the Brolly’ moniker and cost him his job.

Croatia, full of verve and enterprise having already qualified, went 2-0 up inside 14 minutes after Scott Carson, who had replaced Robinson, fumbled Nico Kranjcar’s shot into the net and Ivica Olic slipped in a second.

Frank Lampard pulled one back from the penalty spot in the second half and substitute David Beckham set up Peter Crouch for the equaliser, but Mladen Petric crashed home a 25-yard winner with 13 minutes left and England trudged off to a chorus of boos.

England football manager Steve McClaren

Croatia 1-4 England - 2010 World Cup Qualifier

This time it was England’s turn to gain sweet revenge as teenager Theo Walcott fired a brilliant hat-trick to inflict on Croatia their first home defeat in a competitive fixture.

Walcott gave Fabio Capello’s England a half-time lead and drilled home a carbon-copy second in the 59th minute soon after Robert Kovac had been sent off for his elbow on Joe Cole.

Wayne Rooney converted an excellent third goal for rampant England and after Mario Mandzukic had notched a consolation, Walcott completed his hat-trick.

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Football
Gareth Southgate
Sweden Football
Croatia Football
Harry Maguire
Portugal Football
Russia Football
Dele Alli
England Football
World Cup
Theo Walcott
Paul Robinson
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney

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