In a stunning victory, Croatia defeat England in FIFA World Cup semifinals; WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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The Hush Post: England’s World Cup dream went kaput, as Croatia hit the winning goal in the extra-time defeating England 2-1 in the FIFA World Cup semi finals.

England’s Kieran Trippier’s free-kick got England its first goal in the first five minutes, and for the following 62 minutes it was England who looked set for a place in the final.

But Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia to take the game to extra-time before Mario Mandzukic struck in the 109th minute.

England pushed on but were unable to find an equaliser. Croatia go through to the final where they meet France. England will face Belgium in Saturday’s third-place decider.

Croatia defeat England
Croatia’s Luka Modric being congratulated by England manager Southgate after the final whistle. photo credit: Reuters

England’s bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an agonising end. England’s players were inconsolable at the final whistle as the dream was snatched away and nothing but pain was etched on their faces as well as that of manager Southgate.

England manager Gareth Southgate had this to say, “At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat. I don’t think realistically we expected to be here, but once you’re here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment”.

Harry Kane’s golden touch deserted him when he missed a great chance to double their lead while Jesse Lingard also wasted a chance by shooting wide. As England allowed their opportunity to slip from their grasp, Croatia grew in confidence. England lost momentum after the break and were punished when Perisic stole in ahead of Kyle Walker for an athletic finish.

England manager Gareth Southgate had this to say, “At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat. I don’t think realistically we expected to be here, but once you’re here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment”.

Including this defeat, England have been eliminated in four of their five semi-finals at major tournaments, the four other defeats are:

Euro 1968 v Yugoslavia,

World Cup 1990 v Germany,

Euro 1996 v Germany

World Cup 2018 v Croatia

Whereas, Croatia have qualified for their first World Cup final in their fifth appearance at the tournament. England have lost three competitive games against Croatia , more than any against any other nation.

 

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