Mandzukic sends Croatia to first World Cup final

Ante Rebic- The 24-year-old is a nuisance down the right and got on the scoresheet in Croatia’s 3-0 thrashing of Argentina

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates after scoring the winning goal in extra time as Croatia beat England 2-1 in a World Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

Coming out on top against Kane, and successfully shutting out or limiting the damage from the Tottenham star and England, to send Croatia to their first ever World Cup final would no doubt earn Lovren lots of respect and accolades, and the Liverpool man will surely be looking forward to grabbing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with both hands.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball".

He then added, per The Times" Joseph Cassinelli: "My motto has always been "do your talking on the pitch.' We're in the final and they can now go sunbathing if they wish".

"We've left everything out there, you can look at the goals and the chances, but I don't think over the six or seven weeks we've been together we could've given any more".

After a goalless first 15 minutes of extra-time, and penalties looking like a big possibility, it was Croatia that ended England's dream of World Cup glory when Mario Mandzukic crept it at the far post to fire home what would ultimately be the victor.

"It's great for us and for smaller countries it shows that if you dream and have the character and work hard, dreams are possible", said former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic in his role as an ITV pundit. The team will be stronger for that.

It was England's first goal scored directly from a free-kick at the World Cup since Beckham's victor against Ecuador in 2006, and the team's 12th goal of the competition - surpassing the 11 they netted en route to lifting the trophy 1966.

It's the first time that Croatia - a nation of just 4 million people - have reached the final of the World Cup, and to say their players were elated was like saying Gareth Southgate kind of likes waistcoats.

"We showed again that we were not exhausted - we dominated the game mentally and physically". Croatia have hardened warriors whose understanding of big matches at times came to the fore.

Croatia is trolling the England national soccer team after dumping it out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in heartbreaking fashion.

"We all feel the pain of the defeat".

"It's been great to get to this stage and we know we've done everyone proud but we wanted to go on and win it".

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play", Southgate admitted.

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