Croatia rallies past England to reach World Cup final

Ross Houston
July 12, 2018

Croatia advanced to its first ever FIFA World Cup final after coming back from 0-1 down to defeat England 2-1 in extra-time in the semifinal in Moscow on Wednesday.

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a frightful penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team. With England unable to clear the ball away from its goal, Perisic went airborne and flicked a backwards header toward his suddenly open teammate, forward Mario Mandzukic.

"Until they scored [the equaliser] we were always under cosh", Kane said.

"It hurts, it hurts a lot". Croatia is the first team to win three straight extra-time matches in the World Cup.

"Of course it´s going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to get everyone mentally back to where we want them for a game like that". He knows what to say at the right time.

Asked if Croatia could beat France in the final on Sunday, his girlfriend Marina said: "Of course".

It was suggested before the game, by Business Insider and even Croatian reporters on Federation Internationale de Football Association, that Croatia would be encumbered because of the back-to-back extra-time matches it had to play ahead of the England game.

However, they have taken a gruelling route to the final and the French will be warm favourites.

England play Croatia Wednesday night at 7pm. 'They should be more humble and respect more opponents.

The Three Lions can be proud of their performance at this summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

GOALS: Trippier 5′, Perisic 68′, Mandzukic 109′.

England's start was emphatic, as they swiftly put Croatia on the back foot through a driving Dele Alli run, which Luka Modric had to stop on the edge of the area by fouling the Tottenham star.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 11, 2018.

Defender Vrsaljko was also instrumental, clearing a shot off the line in the first half of extra time as well as setting up Perisic's equaliser.

Midfielder Modric said the team had been motivated by people saying they would be "tired" after their previous two matches went to penalty shootouts.

Kane had lead England to their first World Cup semi-final since the Italia '90 tournament 28 years ago, and in doing so scored a record amount of goals. They now have the chance to avenge that loss and become the ninth nation to win a World Cup final.

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