Thursday Jul 12, 2018 | By: Web Desk
MOSCOW: Impressive Croatia soared to World Cup final after beating England 2-1 in their semi-final encounter in Moscow on Wednesday.
Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute to complete a remarkable comeback from a shattered Croatian team and take the small nation of little more than four million people into the World Cup final for the first time in their short history. Croatia will face France for Sunday's final.
England and Croatia were headed to extra time as they were locked at 1-1 at the end of normal time.
Kieran Trippier gave England a dream start in the Luzhniki Stadium, curling in a free-kick past the despairing dive of Danijel Subasic in just the fifth minute.
But Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia in the 68th minute, nipping ahead of Kyle Walker to steer home Sime Vrsaljko´s cross past a diving Jordan Pickford.
A goal by Mario Mandzukic in the 109th minute gave Croatia the edge.
Heartbreak for England as Croatia took the lead in the early stages of this second period of extra time. It was more tired defending from England, who were finally punished for their sloppy defender.
It was the perfect start for England, settling their nerves in the early stages, as they went on to dominate until the end of the first-half.
But a cagey start to the second half followed, with Perisic equalising to send the game to extra-time.
England had one goal, but it also only had that one shot on target the whole game, out of eight attempts. Croatia in contrast had 14 shots, five on goal.