Croatia Beat England To Reach First World Cup Final
History for Croatia, heartbreak for England. Croatia will compete in its first World Cup final after putting England to the sword in Moscow with a dramatic extra-time win.
For the third consecutive match, Croatia was forced to play 120 minutes after this semifinal ended 1-1 in normal time. But unlike in victories over Russia and Denmark, it did not need penalties to decide the outcome as Mario Mandzukic's 109th-minute winner proved decisive.
Kieran Trippier's first international goal, an exquisite free-kick in the fifth minute, gave England a lead which was negated when Ivan Perisic drew his team level in the second half.
Dalic had admitted pre-match that brutal last-16 and quarterfinal matches had impacted his side, but he also said there could be "no excuses." And despite falling behind, his players made sure there wouldn't be as Croatia, a country with a population of just four million - one-13th the size of England's -- and ranked 20th in the world, continued its unexpected journey in Russia.
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