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Croatia beats England in extra-time to reach first World Cup final

Thursday - 12/07/2018 03:53
England has been craving a top title since it won the World Cup in 1966 and has a tremendous, unforeseen opportunity ahead, with the weight of its country on its shoulders.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 11: Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Phot
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 11: Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Phot

(CNN) - History for Croatia, heartbreak for England.

Croatia will compete in its first World Cup final after putting England to the sword with a gripping 2-1 extra-time win in Moscow.

For the third consecutive match, Croatia was forced to play 120 minutes after the game ended 1-1 in normal time. But unlike its victories over Russia and Denmark, Croatia at least did not need penalties to decide the outcome as Mario Mandzukic's 109th-minute winner proved decisive.

Kieran Trippier's first international goal, an exquisite free-kick in the fifth minute, gave England a lead which was negated when Ivan Perisic drew his team level in the second half.

After a poor first half, when the two consecutive 120-minute matches Croatia had needed to reach the last four looked to have taken its toll, Croatia found seemingly endless reserves of energy after the break to set up a showdown in the Russian capital against France for the sport's ultimate prize.

More to follow...

 

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