Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Croatia beats England to qualify for their first World Cup final

Croatia beats England to qualify for their first World Cup final

England are out of the Fifa World Cup after Croatia fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in extra time in a dramatic semifinal in Moscow.

'It's coming home. Impossible, ' the youngster wrote.

"For England to beat Croatia and reach the World Cup final, they must stop the best midfielder in the world", Jenas told BBC Sport.

England, playing with zip and objective, looked sharp going forward as a rattled Croatia side tried to regroup, with Raheem Sterling proving a real handful but the score remained 1-0 at the break.

Liverpool's Lovren is set to come up against Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane when Croatia and England meet on Wednesday.

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Former Manchester City reject Kieran Trippier, who grew up idolising David Beckham, conjured up an act of brilliance reminiscent of the former England captain.

A late Croatia onslaught was unable to complete the turnaround in 90 minutes and England stepped things up again in extra-time, nearly retaking the lead when John Stones had a header cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 98th minute.

Perisic, who switched between left and right flanks on several occasions during the game, was a constant threat with his pace, direct running and finishing.

"We probably needed that second goal earlier in the game".

Mandzukic scored after Walker stuck out a leg to block Josip Pivaric's cross.

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England boss Gareth Southgate - on the day that was dubbed Waistcoat Wednesday in his honour back home - named an unchanged side to face Croatia, while Zlatko Dalić surprisingly made just one change from the side that beat Russian Federation on penalties in the quarter-final, bringing in midfield Marcelo Brozović for striker Andrej Kramarić.

Trippier was scoring his first ever goal for England, and he also rewarded those who had backed him at a high of [75.0] in the First Goalscorer market.

As well as scoring, Perisic also hit the post for the second straight game and set up Mandzukic's victor, heading a poor clearance toward the Juventus striker to score.

The referees clearly didn't agree with the supposed loophole, leaving England players red faced in the middle of the pitch. Choruses of "God Save the Queen" began in England's end.

Agony was in full view on the Daily Star back page with a "Cro No" inspired headline that captured the anguish on the face of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Lingard failed to connect with a Kane through ball in 78th, Kane miss-hit a header off a free kick in stoppage time, and Stones' header from a corner was cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 99th.

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