Croatia reaches first World Cup final

Croatia reaches first World Cup final

England and Croatia's national soccer teams will battle Wednesday for the right to face France in the 2018 World Cup final soccer game. Both sides had their chances to win the tie late on, but it went into extra-time.

England had been the ones hoping to make history, in what was their first appearance in the semifinals in 28 years.

Kane is every defender's nightmare and, with six goals to his name at the tournament, the Englishman is raring to go as the Three Lions look to win their second ever World Cup. Raheem Sterling probably could have done slightly better given some of the unsafe positions he found himself in too.

Vrsaljko, who plays for Atletico Madrid, had struggled to be ready for the match after playing in two previous extra-time matches, but he found the strength to lift his exhausted, battered team to a comeback win. They should have killed the contest when they had the chance.

For England, who captured so many hearts with their run to the semifinals, there will be the same disappointment that has haunted them at big tournaments across the world for 52 years. and counting. Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic were the toast of the nation after guiding Croatia into the final. Subs: Kramaric 6, Corluka 5, Pivaric 5.

After beating Tunisia 2-1 and Panama 6-1, England drew a blank against Belgium in their final group game but have added four more in the knockout stages. Incredible! They have the lead within five minutes.

Kieran Trippier's goal was the earliest in a World Cup semi-final since 1958. A awful clearance from Subasic presents the ball to England high up the pitch. A second goal would likely have done it. Kane had the best shot at it, finding himself through on goal, firing at Subasic, then knocking a second effort against the post. Jesse Lingard keeps the football liquid.

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The Croatians managed to take over in the second half, when Ivan Perisic flicked in a cross from Sime Vrsaljko, scoring their first goal.

With 68 minutes gone, things were level. Mandzukic will lead Croatia's attack.

It was edge of your seat stuff and England were on the back foot. But while it beat goalkeeper, it didn't beat the post! What a save from Pickford!

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarising debate in England, with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October 2015, but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential.

Lovren has improved greatly since that October debacle, playing a huge role in Liverpool's incredible Champions League campaign and Croatia's astonishing run thus far.

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia scores the winning goal against England in Moscow. Mandzukic ghosted in behind the English defence, who momentarily lost concentration, and the Juventus man hammered home a historic strike to send his country into their maiden World Cup Final.

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