Croatia: The Kings of Extra Time


Croatia: The Kings of Extra Time

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


couple of hours after World No 8 Kevin Anderson defeated defending champion and top-seeded Roger Federer for the first time and led to his ouster from Wimbledon 2018,  an underdog history was underway in Russia.

In a terse, decisive semi-final, Croatia met England to fight for a spot in the World Cup final — a fight that was as much for glory, as it was for redemption. Both teams came into the match with burdens of historical letdowns. Twenty years ago, Croatia had been defeated by France (the very team they set to face in the final) in the semi-finals. And it was only the third semi-final for England in 68 years, with the team yet to win the World Cup since the glorious summer of 1966, making a habit instead of going home from the knockout stages.