Croatia beats England 2-1 to face France in World Cup final

Croatia beats England 2-1 to face France in World Cup final

What happened this morning?

Croatia showed magnificent resilience to come from behind and beat England 2-1 on Wednesday as Mario Mandzukic's extra-time goal sent them into their first World Cup final and sparked celebrations across the Balkan nation.

But there were stunned reactions as Croatia scored the equaliser through Ivan Perisic. Kevin Trippier curled in a free kick in the fifth minute.

After a period of pressure from Croatia, Lingard almost put England back in the lead with a strike across the face of goal. "We probably needed that second goal [in the first half]".

As well as scoring, Perisic also hit the post for the second straight game and set up Mandzukic's victor, heading a poor clearance toward the Juventus striker to score.

As always, Croatia have shown fantastic spirit and belief, coming through extra time in three matches and battling back superbly after a wretched first half against England when they should have been put out of the game.

"It's a special feeling to know that people back home and out here in Russian Federation are enjoying the experience just as much as we are", the midfielder said on the eve of the game.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, attending the World Cup semifinal match in Moscow on 11 July, 2018, along with Mika Lipsker (18) and Alon Eizarayev (13), who are fighting cancer.

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"Having an identity and playing in a way that we felt comfortable as a team, the manager has implemented that brilliantly", Henderson said while sitting next to Southgate at the pre-match press conference at Luzhniki Stadium.

Pundit and ex-England striker Alan Shearer believed Southgate's side "exceeded expectations" by reaching the last four and insists events in Russian Federation have returned "hope" ahead of future tournaments. Only Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard have scored on every day of the week for England.

The squad fly out to the Russian capital, Moscow, on Tuesday afternoon for their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic made one change from the side which beat Russian Federation on Saturday with Marcelo Brozovic coming in for Andrej Kramaric.Croatia got off to the worst possible start when in just the 5th minute Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick to the top right corner from just outside the box to give England a 1-0 lead.

Sir Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero in that Wembley final against West Germany, finished with four for the tournament while Sir Bobby Charlton and Roger Hunt notched three apiece.

"When I was managing at Middlesbrough we had a game at Reading and I was under a bit of pressure. It's supposed to be fun, isn't it?" "A new generation is enjoying the magic of this World Cup run".

Other potential teams in the top 4 included Belgium, Uruguay, Portugal, Colombia and Argentina.

Against Denmark and Russian Federation in the earlier rounds, Croatia were also forced to go through the ordeal of penalties before advancing, but the fact remains that they will face France having played 90 minutes more than Didier Deschamps' team due to their accumulated extra-time workload.

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