Croatia came from behind to beat England 2-1 in a thrilling extra time on Wednesday, and would be playing against France in the World Cup final next Sunday, reaching the final for the first time in the country’s history.
The Croats were down by one goal early in the semi final clash, held at Luzhniki Stadium, but remained steadfast and were fighting to address the deficit.
England scored in the 5th minute of the match, when Kieran Trippier curled a superb free kick from the top of the box, gave the Three Lions the lead, and scored his first international goal.
The Croats were not discouraged by the goal and began pressing the ball, trying to find an opening in England’s defense, but the Brits survived and the first half ended with them leading by one.
The second half began with Croatia on the offensive and their attempts were finally fruitful.
Ivan Perisic, named Man of the Match, got in beyond Kyle Walker to meet Sime Vrsaljko’s cross to level the score sheet in the 68 minute.
There were many dangerous attempts at both goals, although Croatia’s were more lethal and could have changed the score, sending the game to extra time.
And it was Mario Mandzukic who gave his country the lead in the 109 minute. The Juventus forward reacted to a flick and slammed the ball beyond Jordan Pickford.
England have now been eliminated in four of their five semi finals at major tournaments, losing each of the last four in a row (Euro 1968 against former Yugoslavia, World Cup 1990 against Germany, Euro 1996 against Germany and World Cup 2018 against Croatia).
Croatia will be playing against France in Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, while England will face Belgium for the third place in Saint Petersburg on July 14.
Source: Kuwait News Agency