Despair for England as Mandzukic scores in extra time to send Croatia into World Cup finals
– Croatia have qualified into the World Cup finals after a 2-1 victory over England
– Kieran Trippier scores a fantastic free kick in the first half to put the Lions ahead
– Perisic and Mandzukic send Croatia into the World Cup finals with respective goals
Croatia will play in the World Cup finals for the first time in their history following a 2-1 victory over England after extra time.
The Three Lions set the ball rolling in the early minutes of the match as Kieran Trippier scored from a brilliant free kick.
Inter Milan attacker Ivan Perisic leveled matters as Croatia came back from the dead to send the match into extra time.
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Mario Manzukic scored the most important goal of his career as he pulled the trigger in the box leaving Jordan Pickford with no chance.
The Eastern European will play France in the finals on Sunday, July, 15 as they are set to write their names in the history books.
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120+5′ The ball is defended as the referee sound s his whistle.
120+4′ Free kick in a promising position for England and it’s their last chance.
120+2′ Maguire hoists the ball forward as Subsaic gets an easy catch.
120′ CHANCE! Kramaric is set clear on goal but shoots into the side-netting. Three minutes have been added to extra time.
118′ SUBSTITUTION! Luka Modric comes off for Milan Badelj.
116′ Croatia takes a short corner as Brozovic shoots and Pickford had to save in quick succession.
114′ SUBSTITUTION! Corluka comes in for injured Mandzukic. His 104th cap at his fourth major tournament for his country.
113′ The English are playing for their lives as Alli finds Rashford in the box but Subasic comes and collect.
111′ SUBSTITUTION! Jamie Vardy comes in for Kyle Walker.
110′ Croatia are 11 minutes away from breaking the 1998 semi final jinx.
109′ Mandzukic lashes onto a flick from Modric as and the Juventus striker does not hesitate to finish.
108′ Rakitic takes a corner quickly as Brozovic fires it wide. Still 1-1 with the scoreline.
107′ Croatia in control of possession.
106′ Croatia gets it underway as we go into the last 15 minutes of the match.
105+2′ CHANCE! Beautiful cross from Mandzukic as Pickford saves at point blank range. What a match we have in our hands. Corner to Croatia. A short one taken but the referee has seen enough. It’s half time in extra time.
105+1′ A swift counter attacking move from Croatia as Kramaric’s shot hit a defender.
105′ Two additional minutes is added to extra time.
104′ Rakitic wins a free kick off Harry Kane. Still 1-1 at extra time.
102′ England pushing up the tempo of the match as Croatia look to defend every attempt thrown at them.
100′ Ball possession: Croatia: 55%, England: 45%.
98′ John Stones with a header from a Trippier corner and saved on the line from Vrsaljko as Croatia save by the skin of their teeth.
97′ Jordan Henderson is leaving the field to be replaced by Eric Dier in a tactical substitution.
96′ The ref blows his whistle. Ante Rebic charged Danny Rose from behind and it’s a free-kick. Rebis is yellow carded.
95′ Ball possession: Croatia: 55%, England: 45%.
92′ England are in control of possession while Croatia are tagging along.
91′ England take a throw-in at the right side of the pitch in the opponent’s half of the field.
91′ SUBSTITUTION! Danny Rose comes in for Ashley Young as we begin extra time.
90+3′ The referee ends the match as we prepare for extra time.
90+1′ England have the free kick in stoppage time. Trippier takes but Kane could not get the power behind the header for a Croatia goal kick.
89′ Croatia dominates possession with more than 10 passes but Lovern eventually sends it into the crowd.
87′ Kane slips a pass through but too much for Lingard. It could have been a one-on-one situation if he controlled it. It’s goal kick to Croatia.
85′ Ball possession: Croatia: 54%, England: 46%.
84′ Another chance for Croatia but Perisic could not keep him shot down.
82′ Mandzukic chests and shoots but Pickford save calmly.
80′ Perisic was almost gifted another chance from a blunder but Puickford saves England’s blushes.
78′ Still a nervy match at the Luzhniki Stadium as the match enters getting closer to the end.
76′ Lingard flashes a cross wide but no to get the touch. England with another chance as Henderson could not keep his shot down.
76′ It has become an end to end stuff in this match as both sides are giving each what they have.
75′ SUBSTITUTION! Rashord in for Sterling.
73′ Croatia with the corner from Modric but headed away but Marcelo Brozovic skies the ball into the crowd for an England goal kick.
71′ CHANCE! England went to sleep again as Perisic shoots and the balls hits the upright and Rebic with teh rebound but into the hands of Pickford.
70′ Now we have a game in our hands. Out of nothing Croatia have come back into the game.
68′ delicious delivery from Vrsaljko as Perisic draws out a high-boot to even the scores. It’s Croatia 1-1 England.
65′ Modric crosses from the right as Stones heads away but falls kindly for Rakitic who shoots as Walker puts his body on the line for a critical block.
63′ CHANCE! Sterling walks into the defence from the right and shoots but Subasic defends with his leg.
61′ The only statistic that matters in this match is that England have the lead by 1-0.
60′ Ball possession: Croatia: 55%, England: 45%.
59′ Croatia win a corner as Modric takes but Pickford get a distant punch.
58′ Croatia build up from the left but the final pass from Perisic is blocked by Maguire in the box. Croatia still finding it hard in the final third.
56′ A long kick into the Croatian half as the ball falls kindly to Lingard who wins a corner. Trippier takes but well defended by Croatia.
55′ Walker goes into the referee’s book for simulation as Croatian win a corner. Flung in by Rakitic but the referee blows the whistle for Lovern’s push on Maguire in the box.
53′ Both teams still trying to cement their supremacy in the midfield but to no avail.
51′ Ball possession: Croatia: 53%, England: 47%.
49′ Most of the possession is being played in the Croatian half as England are not allowing the Croats breathing space to operate.
47′ Artem Rebic is shown a yellow card for an elbow on Kyle Walker from the Turkish referee after a check carried out by the VAR and it’s Mario Mandzukic who gets cautioned.
46′ Croatian begin the second half knowing full well it’s a 45 minutes that would change their destiny.
45+1′ The referee blows the half time whistle as Kerian Trippier’s free kick separate both sides as they head into the dressing room.
45′ England shaky in defence as Ivan Rakitic tries to flick the ball over Kyle Walker but he stands his ground and clears.
44′ England look more relaxed when on the attacking as the Croatian side assembly in numbers to defend.
42′ Croatia can not seem to break through the England defence as Vrsaljko shoots from 25-yards out as the ball goes into the stands.
40′ Croatia in full possession as they get booed by the England fans who seem to have the louder voice inside the Luzhniki Stadium.
38′ The score remain 1-0 in favour of the English as they hold the advantage going into the finals.
37′ England have created the better chances so far as they look the likelier team to score.
35′ Kane breaks away again as he finds Alli who mesmerizes three defenders as he sets it up for Lingard who could not find his range.
33′ Deceptive cross from Perisic as the ball eludes everyone but Young who saves for a corner. Modric takes but the referee spots a foul.
33′ Ball possession: Croatia: 54%, England: 46%.
31′ Modric dazzles into the box and finds Rebic but his shot was punched away by Pickford who has been playing the extra man in defence.
30′ It should have been 2-0 to England but Croatia are lucky to escape again.
29′ CHANCE! Lingard with the through ball into the box to Harry Kane and he shoots but Subasic comes out with the save.
26′ Young takes but Subasic knuckles it away. England so far are sailing with the wind at the moment.
25′ Sterling has been outstanding so far as he has been fouled on several occasions in the match and he wins another free kick in a promising position for England.
23′ Smart play from Sterling as he runs into Vida and Croatia gain control of the match.
22′ CHANCE! Sterling finds Kane but the referee’s assistant flags offside on the England captain.
21′ Croatia are beginning to get into the game but England have a relatively calm lead at the moment.
20′ Lovely piece of skill from Rebic as he skips past Young but Stones with the block from the striker.
18′ Croatia begin the attack from the left again as Perisic finds Rakitic but he switches to the right for Vrsaljko and it was too strong for him. Throw-in to England.
17′ England have settled into the game better as Croatia are still finding it hard to control the game in their stride.
16′ Ball possession: Croatia: 54%, England: 46%.
14′ Dele Alli makes a swift move and finds Trippier on the right as he wins England second corner. Trippier with the delivery but Harry Maguire puts the ball wide for a Croatian goal kick.
12′ England have a corner. Young takes but the flag was up for an infringement. John Stones seemed to have fouled an opponent.
10′ England are really taking the game to Croatians as Raheem Sterling is been used for their counter-attacking play.
8′ A teasing cross from Perisic on the left but Vrsaljko forces a corner from Ashley Young. The corner taken but cleared by England.
7′ Croatia try for a quick response but Pickford comes and collects as he throws a long one to Raheem Sterling who dashes with the ball but Subasic comes out on time to pick the ball.
5′ Kerian Trippier takes it with picture perfect as Subasic had no chance to the ball. It’s 1-0 to England.
4′ Beautiful touch from Lingard as England win a free kick right in front of the 18-yard box as Dele Alli is tripped from behind.
2′ Croatia begin the onslaught with a move from Perisic on the left but well defended by Trippier.
1′ The match gets underway as Croatia and England battle for the team to complete the last hurdle into the finals. England start the game from right to left in all plain white jerseys.
– England and Croatia will lock horns at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for a place in the final
– Both sides won their quarter final fixtures defeating Sweden and Russia respectively
– The winner of the match will face France in the finals following Les Bleus’ victory over Belgium
The stage is set for the second semi final clash between England and Croatia for a place in the World Cup finals.
Both sides head into the encounter having started the tournament as dark horses and are just two fixtures away from World Cup glory.
The last time the Three Lions played in a World Cup semis was in Italy 1990 as they were knocked out by eventual champions West Germany.
Croatia’s last semi final outing was in France 1998 where they also lost to the host by 2-1 but emerged third in the competition.
Gareth Southgate’s men qualified out of Group G that comprises Belgium, Panama and Tunisia and made it through Colombia in the last 16.
The 1996 champions defeated Sweden 2-0 in the quarter finals as they continue their quest in bringing back the coveted trophy home.
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Croatia topped Group D at the expense of highly rated Argentina as they came out of the group unbeaten recording three victories.
The Eastern Europeans won their round of 16 and quarter final matches with shootout victories over Denmark and Russia.
The winner of the fixture will take on France who recorded a 1-0 victory over Belgium in the first semi final clash.
Predicted line ups
England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Henderson, Dele Alli, Lingard, Young, Sterling, Kane
Croatia XI: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Modric, Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic, Mandzukic
Game: England vs Croatia
Date: Wednesday, July 11
Time: 7pm (Nigerian time)
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
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