Croatia Digs Deeper- Burying England’s World Cup Dreams – By RORY SMITH – NYT

MOSCOW — Their legs had stopped working long before the end. Their muscles ached, their lungs heaved, their bodies creaked and groaned. Croatia’s players had hit their limits and traveled beyond them, yet again; they had drained themselves of adrenaline; they had passed deep into the red, into the pain.

And still, even as their movements grew stiff and their tendons tight, when they were gasping for breath and it looked as though they could not possibly give any more, they kept going, kept chasing, kept running: past England, into the World Cup final, into history.

Croatia 2   England 1

via Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  Here is a comment I really liked, and my response to it.


Los Angeles 13 hours ago

Well done Croatia. Great strategy start to finish – and I mean that, including the first half.

I disagree with the article waxing on about burning legs and exhaustion and beating the odds, the article completely missed the point that this game was played by Croatia as chess vs. checkers.

It was clear from about 15 minutes in by looking at the players’ body language what would happen: Croats were mostly walking and jogging, relaxed, expending occasional bursts of energy as needed and running England into hyperdrive, burning their energy and focus.

They mistook Croatia’s initial quiet, “diagnostic” soft pace as weakness and underestimated the lurking dangers of playing a long game against endurance players who only get more energetic and more accurate under duress. The Croats used pace and pressure to build their advantage. Sometimes you gotta watch out for the quiet ones. Well done.

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 


I agree with this comment by LA 3 NYC, even if I didn’t see it at the time, I did see England fall off their game in the second half and overtime, more exhausted, their confidence shattered, while the Croatia team dominated with ball control.

But Croatia also seemed in the first half to be unusually rough, and deserved 3 yellow cards and a red card that they didn’t get. Or was that just good, rough football? I fear that Fifa football is going the way of American NHL hockey, and getting more and more violent. (Columbia was over the top with foul and dirty play against England, almost all of which the ref did not call.)

I also liked a criticism from another commenter, of the Fox news casters. They were pathetic, and I wanted to mute their inane and silly remarks. They appeared to jinx the England team by supporting them like village idiots. Future remotes need a second mute button, to turn off bad commentary. They certainly didn’t see or notice the Croatia team pacing themselves. Croatia deserved this win.

As I learn about and admire Fifa football, I focus on patience and control being the keys to having a good day on the field, and Croatia led on these metrics for the last two thirds of the game.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at and

About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. Find more about it at, also known as, David Lindsay is currently writing about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction., as well as singing and performing a "folk concert" on Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction. He can be reached at daljr37(at)
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