Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

England vs. Croatia final score, recap

England vs. Croatia final score, recap

That caution proved to well founded as Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor fired Croatia into Sunday's final against France as England's expense in a tense semi-final in Moscow, with Keane biding his time before revisiting his previous discussion with Wright. Since Croatia and England were on the "easier" side of the bracket, they will need to use this semifinal match to prove that whoever progresses did not just make the final through a cake walk.

Croatia have been taken to penalties twice in the knockout stages and again had to endure extra time against England. Croatia will be coming off its third straight extra-time match.

While Dejan Lovren has gotten most of the footballing attention from the Croatian defence, Vida has been more consistent for a Croatian defence that has only conceded four goals in five games.

Two nations who have been waiting years to put right the bitter memories of World Cup semi-final defeats will face each other on Wednesday in Moscow with the chance to finally go one step further. Croatia had been desperately poor but started to get a foothold in the game as the match rolled past the hour mark and Luka Modric's influence grew.

France will be favourites on Sunday, but don't write Croatia off.

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After a nervous opening quarter from Croatia, their first serious attempt on goal came in the 18th minute when Ivan Perisic cut inside from the left and fired from outside the box only for it to go just wide.

It was looking good for England in its quest to reach its first final since winning it all in 1966, after Kieran Trippier scored on a fifth-minute free kick.

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England had got off to a flying start when Trippier curled a superb free kick into the top corner. "But you have to focus on just one game".

And the momentum completely swung in the favour of the Croatians in the second half.

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And he nearly gave his country the lead four minutes later when he sent a left-foot strike against the far post after finding space once again.

John Stones was slow to pick up Mandzukic's run onto a Perisic header, and Pickford was beaten by a left-foot shot that sealed England's fate and sent Croatia into dreamland.

"They have not experienced that before playing with England and it also shows that it can be a memorable experience playing for their country". Alli went further into his shell as the game progressed, but Perisic became a greater danger as the game wore on and exhausted legs became an issue.

Tense moments followed for the 12th man as Croatia tried to pile the pressure on and fans had their hearts in their mouths when the score was only kept level by some desperate England defending.

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