Tactical switch transforms Croatia from zero to hero



IMAGE: Croatia's Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida celebrate after the match.Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters.

Croatia ruthlessly exposed England's limitations in the second half of the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday as Zlatko Dalic's side fought back to secure a famous 2-1 extra-time victory.

While it is players who win matches there can be little doubt that a tactical switch from the canny Dalic transformed the game.

Pushing wide players Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic into more advanced roles was not the most complex move but it was one that turned the match on its head.

Gareth Southgate's England had made it to the last four by playing a brand of progressive passing football and there was enough of that in the opening 45 minutes, after Kieran Trippier's fifth-minute goal, to keep them comfortably on top.