Croatia came from a goal down to book the place in the 2018 World Cup Final against France...
Mario Mandzukic´s extra-time strike helped Croatia to edge past England 2-1 to book their first ever World Cup finals spot today at Moscow.
England made a brilliant start of the match earning a free kick and Kieran Trippier curled it at the top of the right side of the net to hand The Three Lions the lead in the 5th minute of the game.
The Three Lions were dominating throughout the first session as they kept the pressure mounting on Croatia. Towards the half, an hour mark Harry Kane was denied twice by Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic from a tight angle inside the box.
England´s lost the rhythm towards the end of a final minute of the first half and Croatia took advantage of it but could not produce the result.
Croatia came back strong in the second half and dominated the most of the proceeding and found the equalizer in the 68th minute through Ivan Perisic who raised his left leg to reach up to the ball before his marker, Walker, and diverted the ball towards the home past Jordan Pickford.
Perisic´s effort, two minutes later came off the post that could have put the Croatian ahead of England. Pickford was called into action once again in the 82nd minute who denied Marcelo Brozovic effort from the close range. The match headed to extra time.
In the 9th minute of the first half of extra time, Stones´ header on Trippier´s cross was headed away by Vrsaljko from in front of the goal.
Busy Pickford once again made a brilliant save to deny Mandzukic who was quick to react on Perisic´ header inside the box to tap the ball towards the net but Pickford was alert to through himself and denied.
However, spirited Croatian were not ready to give it and scored the crucial victory goal eleven minutes before the end of extra time. Perisic wins the header that falls inside the box and Mandzukick quickly smashes a powerful shot to beat The Three Lions.
Croatia will now take on France in the finals of the 2018 World Cup to be played on Sunday 15th July.
Full-time: Croatia 2-1 England
120: Four minutes added
119: Substitution for Croatia, Luka Modric OFF Milan Badelj IN
115: Substitution for Croatia, Mario Mandzukic OFF Vedran Corluka IN
112: Substitution for England, Kyle Walker OFF Jamie Vardy IN
109: Goal!! Mario Mandzukic scored for Croatia
106: Second half extra-time kick off
Half-time extra-time: Croatia 1-1 England
105: Two minutes added
101: Substitution for Croatia, Ante Rebic OFF Andrej Kramaric IN
97: Substitution for England, Jordan Henderson OFF Eric Dier IN
96: Yellow card Ante Rebic
94: Substitution for Croatia, Ivan Strinic OFF Josip Pivaric IN
91: Substitution for England, Ashley Young OFF Danny Rose IN
91: First half extra-time kick off
Full-time: Croatia 1-1 England
90: Three minutes added
74: Substitution for England, Raheem Sterling OFF Marcus Rashford IN
68: Goal!! Ivan Perisic scored for Croatia
54: Yellow card Kyle Walker
48: Yellow card Mario Mandzukic
46: Second half kicks off
Half-time: Croatia 0-1 England
45: One minute added.
5: Goal!! Kieran Trippier scores for England
1: First half kick off
England subs: Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jamie Vardy, Jack Butland, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nick Pope.
England line-up: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.
Croatia subs: Dominik Livakovic, Vedran Corluka, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Lovre Kalinic, Tin Jedvaj, Filip Bradaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Milan Badelj, Marko Pjaca, Josip Pivaric.
Croatia line-up: Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Marcelo Brozovic; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic.
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