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Croatia beat England 2-1 to enter their maiden World Cup final

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July 12, 2018

02:14  Croatia meet France in their title-decider:  

Croatia beat England 2-1 to enter their maiden World Cup final.

Croatia will meet France on Sunday for the World Cup trophy. 

England will face Belgium in the 3rd place match on Friday.

It was eventually Mario Mandzukic's winner in extra time that put the Croats in the final after suffering a stuttered start to the match.

England were gutsy but eventually a defensive error cost them a place in the final.

Three minutes of stoppage time and England just not getting the ball.

Rakitic and Alli get into a scuffle but England play on with their free-kick.

Croatia doing well to keep England off the ball.

Free-kick to England after a hand-ball.

Rashford takes it. Flicked in by Rashford and played out by the defence.

That is it! Croatia are into the World Cup final.

Modric taken off and is replaced by Badelj.

England for some reason taking their time here. But Croatia pressing on the break.

Perisic makes a solo run but bangs it into the side of the net.

It looks like Croatia's walking home with this one now.

They win a corner with sic minutes to go on the clock.

Mandzukic is taken off and is replaced by Corluka.

England on the counter win a free-kick. 

Rashford takes it, it's a goal-kick. 

01:55  Mandzukic scores:  

Croatia get the lead and it's Mandzukic who scores!

He blasts the ball into the far post to go ahead.

In a rare error of judgment, England fail to defend a high ball, Perisic heads it to Mandzukic who shoots the ball into the bottom right.
Croatia take possession of the ball and get corner early in the 2nd half of extra time. 

01:47  Croatia came close to scoring:  

Half-time at extra time has seen the scoreboard unchanged. 

Mandzukic nearly scored for Croatia late in that first half of extra-time =, only for Pickford to pull out a superb save.

Kane fouls Rakitic as he tries to break. 

England are the better team here but it's Croatia that are making threats. 

Two minutes of added time put on the clock.

Croatia press but can't get the goal in.

Perisic again at it, he feeds it to Mandzukic who's effort is cleared by Pickford. What a save!

Rakitic feeds the ball to Perisic who is fouled by Rashford and in the meanwhile Rebic comes out for Kremaric.

Modric takes the free-kick and after a little melee in the box it's nothing.

England get a corner here after Dier's shot deflects off a defender.

Trippier takes it, Stones's header is cleared by Vrsaljko.

England enjoying possession and pressing here. 

A free-kick for England after Rose brought down by Rebic, Trippier takes it and it amounts to nought.

Croatia have an injury concern here and Strinic goes down, clutching his groin and he makes way for Pivaric.

England make a change as Rose comes on for Ashley Young at left back. 

01:23  Match goes into extra-time:  

The full time whistle is blown here and with the score line tied at 1-1, there will be 30 minutes more of extra time.

Croatia were the better side in the second, looking to score and finally getting the equaliser, just when England were looking like bagging the match after Trippier's header off a corner.

England win a free-kick as Rakitic brings down Rashford.

Kane taking it, Trippier heads it down but the ball goes wide.

With three minutes to go, Croatia still attacking. 

A string of passes and a build-up later, Lovren overcooks the shot.

Perisic is the dangerman here as his second shot goes over the bar. Nervy moments for England here. 

Perisic attempts a shot from the left but Pickford gathers it.

End-to-end action here as Mandzukic's shot is saved by Pickford and then England's effort is saved at the other end.

England nearly score an own goal but thank god for an alert Pickford.

Good build-up by England just outside the box but nothing comes off it.

Kane releases Lingard on the right who was looking for Alli but crossed just wide of the bottom left of the net.
01:04  Perisic scores the winner equaliser:  

The passage of play in the last five minutes since the goal has been riveting and it is Croatia who are turning on the screws here.

Croatia win a corner down the right. Vrsaljkos ball in is half cleared. Brozovic blazes a long shot over the bar.

And Croatia get the breakthrough they were looking for in the 68th minute.

It was coming.

Perisic is served a lovely cross from the right, he sticks his boot out high and beats Pickford to put Croatia level.

Modric runs down the right. His cross inside is half cleared, but only to Perisic, whose shot from the edge of the box is blocked by Walker. 

Croatia have a good build-up but they just cannot go past Walker and the England backline.

After 60 minutes, Croatia are showing signs of life, but just can't find the breakthrough.

England win a corner, Trippier takes it but amounts to nought.
00:43  Croatia getting a move on:  

Walker booked for stopping Croatia from taking a throw-in quickly.

Croatia keeping a lot more of the possession now. 

Walker makes a clean challenge and that is another brake on a Croatian forward run.

Rebic elbows Walker and the Croatian gets a yellow. An update says it's actually Mandzukic who has been booked even though Rebic is the culprit.

Free-kick for England.  

The second half is upon us and Croatia looking a little more in sync. 

But they cannot goes past England's defence.

00:18  England dominate the first half:  

A free-kick for Croatia taken by Modric but it amounts to nought as the half-time whistle is blown.

Croatia create another chance as Rakitic crosses it across to Modric from the far post, who rallies it to Vrsaljko who blasts the ball over the post.

There is a scramble in the D after Pickford kicks in the direction of Rakitic who cannot breach the stubborn England defence.

With 8 minutes to go in the first half, Croatia look slow to react in the area.

35 minutes now, Lingard at the edge of the D gets a pass from Alli who's surrounded by defenders but the former shoots just wide.

00:03  End-to-end action:  

Croatia have one real chance but Pickford does well to keep out a pile driver off the boot off Rebic.

England captain Kane gets a superb pass from Lingard, but he mis-directs. He tries to score off the rebound but is caught off-side.

Some end-to-end action here as Lingard hares down the pitch and crosses from the right but misses Kane and Sterling. 

Croatia counter but to  no avail.

Sterling is now brought down by Lovren and another set-piece for England.

That free-kick amounts to nought.

Croatia give the ball away, Sterling passes it to Kane but the England captain is off-side. Score unchanged.

Croatia are managing to give away the ball easily and are being caught out on the counter.

England defenders are denying the Croatians here.

Vrsaljko threatens but his cross does not reach his mates.