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England v Croatia World Cup semi-final is a rematch of Portman Road clash in 2003

PUBLISHED: 12:16 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 11 July 2018

England fans turn Portman Road red and white back in 2003 Picture: SIMON PARKER.

England fans turn Portman Road red and white back in 2003 Picture: SIMON PARKER.

When England square off with Croatia for a place in the World Cup final in just a few hours time, it will bring back memories of a famous night in Portman Road history.

Craig Jackson was the England flag waver when the national side played Croatia at Portman Road back in 2003. Picture: ARCHANTCraig Jackson was the England flag waver when the national side played Croatia at Portman Road back in 2003. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Town’s home hosted its first – and so far only – senior international back on August 20, 2003, and it saw England do battle with the team who will be their foes on Wednesday.


Ipswich-born Kieron Dyer in action for England against Croatia at Portman Road in 2003. Picture: PA SPORTIpswich-born Kieron Dyer in action for England against Croatia at Portman Road in 2003. Picture: PA SPORT

And, in what is hopefully a foreshadowing of the huge semi-final clash, England won the friendly match 3-1.

England v Croatia international football.England v Croatia international football.

England v Croatia international football.England v Croatia international football.

Captain David Beckham, sporting a pony tail and top knot at the time, put England ahead from the penalty spot after just eight minutes after Croatian defender Josip Simunic handled his cross.

England celebrate at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKEREngland celebrate at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKER

An action shot from the big game at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKERAn action shot from the big game at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKER

Beckham crossed to Michael Owen to make it 2-0 after 50 minutes, before being substituted to a rapturous reception.

Were you there at Portman Road when England took on Croatia? Picture: SIMON PARKERWere you there at Portman Road when England took on Croatia? Picture: SIMON PARKER

Davod Beckham was in the squad when England faced Croatia in Ipswich Picture: SIMON PARKERDavod Beckham was in the squad when England faced Croatia in Ipswich Picture: SIMON PARKER

Were you there? Picture: SIMON PARKERWere you there? Picture: SIMON PARKER

Davod Beckham and the team at Ipswich Town's home ground Picture: SIMON PARKERDavod Beckham and the team at Ipswich Town's home ground Picture: SIMON PARKER

A round of applause from David Beckham Picture: Owen HinesA round of applause from David Beckham Picture: Owen Hines

Celebrating with the fans at The Blues' stadium Picture: SIMON PARKERCelebrating with the fans at The Blues' stadium Picture: SIMON PARKER

Paul Scholes and David Beckham were key players in the game at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKERPaul Scholes and David Beckham were key players in the game at Portman Road Picture: SIMON PARKER

Frank Lampard was another team member at the time Picture: SIMON PARKERFrank Lampard was another team member at the time Picture: SIMON PARKER

Croatia pulled one back through Ivica Mormar after 78 minutes, before Frank Lampard struck England’s third with ten minutes left.


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