History-maker Mandzukic sends Croatia into first Final

Sergio Cunningham
July 12, 2018

Modric and Ivan Rakitic suddenly began to control the middle, the ball coming back time and again against an England back three who looked frozen with anxiety in the bright Luzhniki lights, the men ahead of them unable to keep possession long enough to let them breathe. Perisic equalized in the 68th minute, though, and then set up Mandzukic in the 109th minute for the eventual victor.

England defied expectation and united a fractured nation in reaching this stage, and Southgate must take enormous credit for that.

England have already won a shootout in Russian Federation, against Colombia in the last 16.

"It's not something I'm really thinking about at the moment to be honest, it's not the game we wanted to be in", Kane admitted.

"We were motivated and what I told these players before the game was "there's no pressure, no nerves, don't lose your head - you've reached the semi-final, be proud and enjoy your football". The Croatians and their fans will all be back on Sunday for the final, their first ever.

Meanwhile, Croatia made the most out of its first World Cup semifinal since 1998 and will be facing France in Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, with England heading to St. Petersburg to battle it out with Belgium in the third-place game.

Brooking said England "did not have answers" to overcome Zlatko Dalic's side.

The score was precariously-poised at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, so the match went into extra-time.

"Croatia sorted themselves out after going behind", added Brooking, who played for England at the 1982 World Cup.

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Kerber of Germany will next face 56th-ranked Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. "I had my chances to win here a few years ago". This is the 44th time Djokovic has reached the fourth round at a Grand Slam, surpassing Jimmy Connors in second place.

England broke their record for goals at a single World Cup as Kieran Trippier opened the scoring in their semi-final defeat to Croatia.

But Harry Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic and forced the rebound against a post, Raheem Sterling again failed to turn promise into substance and Jesse Lingard curled a golden chance wide.

"We had some good chances, never put them away, and I feel like if we got that goal before half-time or in the first 15 of the second half we might have had that opportunity to win the game". But Croatia clawed their way back into the match and equalized in the 68th minute when Ivan Perisic beat Kyle Walker to Sime Vrsaljko's cross and finished past Jordan Pickford.

England could have added to their lead, but wasted numerous chances as the half ended 1-0.

England made a blistering start, surging into an early lead thanks to a stunning free-kick from Kieran Trippier.

No penalty shootout was needed, though, as Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic struck a killer blow late in the game to break England's hearts.

"This is a miracle". The pass across the face of goal for Mandzukic was flawless, but the England goalkeeper came off his line to make the intervention! Wow!

"England we're proud of you, that's all I've got to say".

"We started slowly, but we've shown our character, just as we did in the previous two knockout rounds when we were one-goal down", Perisic said.

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