Odd cou­ple to bat­tle it out

Orlando Sentinel - - SOCCER -

That also means Croa­tia has played 360 min­utes in the knock­out rounds, the equiv­a­lent of one more full game than France, which also had an ex­tra day of rest be­tween its semi­fi­nal and the fi­nal.

Given the speed and phys­i­cal­ity of a French at­tack led by An­toine Griez­mann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Paul Pogba, fa­tigue could be a prob­lem for Croa­tia.

France’s de­fense has proved dif­fi­cult to break down. It gave up one goal in the group stage then strug­gled a bit with Ar­gentina in the fi­nal 16, giv­ing up goals just be­fore and af­ter the in­ter­mis­sion to trail for the only time in the tour­na­ment.

The FI­NAL

MANAN VATSYAYANA/GETTY-AFP

“No mat­ter what hap­pens in the fi­nal, this is the great­est suc­cess story in Croa­t­ian sport,” said cap­tain Luka Mo­dric, left. Bel­gium vs. Eng­land 10 a.m. Satur­day France vs. Croa­tia 11 a.m. Sun­day

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