England's dream of making it to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup were crushed by Croatia after falling after falling 1-2 in extra-time in a semi-final plaued at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday 11 July.
It was England who made a dream start with Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier putting his side into the lead in the fifth-minute via a free-kick but Croatia came out stronger in the second half with Ivan Perisic levelling matters in the 67th minute.
The teams traded blows for the rest of the 90 minutes but were forced into extra time locked at 1-1. After a tense first period Mario Mandzukic then broke the hearts of the Gareth Southgate coached side with a 109th minute winner.
Croatia’s opponents in Moscow on Sunday will be France, who progressed to the final with a 1-0 win over Belgium in the first semi-final played at the St Petersburg Stadium a day earlier
Three minutes had gone when England won a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Kyle Walker’s long ball pushed England upfield, with Jesse Lingard’s quick feet helping to free Dele Alli, who was bundled over by Luka Modric. Trippier stood over the ball and bent his delivery beyond the wall and into the net. It was his first goal for England, and the team’s ninth from a set piece in the tournament.
Croatia were building pressure and they levelled in the 67th minute. Vrsaljko hung a cross in from the right and Perisic volleyed, leaving Pickford groping at air and England complaining without success about high feet.
With seven minutes of normal time left Mandzukic chested the ball down eight yards from goal, striking with a swivel but straight at Pickford.