Croatia thrive in extra time to reach World Cup final

England vs Croatia World Cup 2018 What time is kick-off tomorrow what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction

"It's going to hurt for a while of course".

The Football Association and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, spoke of the enormous pride held by a nation and the players must "hold your heads high" when they return home. We have gone further than most people thought we should and we have to try and learn from it.

It was looking good for England in its quest to reach its first final since winning it all in 1966, after Kieran Trippier scored on a fifth-minute free kick.

Alas, a second-half goal by Croatia sent the game into extra time and Mario Mandzukic's extra time victor put the Croatians into the final against France and relegated England to the third-place game.

"That will help us, but the chances are 50-50, I believe, because everybody deserves to be at the semi-final".

"We started slowly today but we showed our character and again came from a goal behind just like we did in the previous knockout rounds". Nobody wanted to say I am not ready.

The French beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to book their spot in the final, giving them one more day of rest ahead of Sunday's showcase match at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Can Croatia make history against France?

England has previously only made the semi-finals of the World Cup on two occasions, with the last time coming back in 1990, when they suffer a defeat by Germany on penalty kicks.

His own game ended in a similar fashion to England's tournament as he limped off injured in the closing period of extra-time while his team-mates tried - and ultimately failed - to get back into the game.

With no injuries to worry about, Southgate submitted an identical team to that which began the last-16 game against Colombia and the quarter-final against Sweden.

England should have sewn this game up by half-time, with at least three clear-cut chances to put the game beyond Croatia's reach.

England could not have imagined a better start.

While it is players who win matches there can be little doubt that a tactical switch from the canny Dalic transformed the game. That is why is was always going to be hard for them to go all the way.

Croatia hung on and it was to their enormous credit that they turned the tide after the break in what developed into an epic encounter.

In the second half, Croatia came back into the game and equalised when Sime Vrsaljko whipped in a brilliant cross and Ivan Perisic got his foot above Kyle Walker's head to beat Jordan Pickford.

England manager Gareth Southgate acknowledge the class of the supporters, and assured them his players could not have given any more to the cause.

Remarkably, that was not the first time that had been attempted this tournament.

Vrsaljko cleared a John Stones header away from in front of the line, but England had Pickford to thank for a brilliant save as Mandzukic connected with a devilish Perisic cross.

It was a wonder the Juventus forward did not break a limb as Pickford crunched into him.



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