Croatia have qualified for their first FIFA World Cup final after they came from behind to beat England 2-1 in extra time in their semifinal clash at the ongoing tournament in Russia.
England took an early lead in the 5th minute through a well executed free kick from Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier.
The Three Lions thereafter handed Croatia the initiative to dominate the game in search on an equaliser.
Croatia struggled to breakdown the England rearguard until the 68th minute when Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic showed hunger and desire to restore parity for his side off a devilish cross from Sime Vrsaljko.
Zlatko Dalic’s team continue to dominate proceedings with England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denying Mario Mandzukic from close range as both sides settled for extra time.
The Juventus striker was however not to be denied in the second half of extra time as he pounced on a loose knockdown from Perisic to fire his side ahead for the first time in the match.
Croatia thereafter held on for the rest of extra time to book a first World Cup final spot against an England side which finished the game with 10 men after Trippier was forced off with an injury with all substitutions made.
They will face France in the final on Sunday evening, while England do battle with Belgium in the 3rd/4th place playoff on Saturday evening.
Croatia become the 13th side to reach the World Cup final with the extra time win over England.
- / 11 hours ago
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