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Croatia rallies past England to reach World Cup final

12 Juillet 2018

England are out of the Fifa World Cup after Croatia fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in extra time in a dramatic semifinal in Moscow.

"But the team will be stronger for that and as we reflect over the next few days, there will be a lot more positives".

Mandzukic's movement was also a constant challenge for England's back three and John Stones, in particular, did not look as composed as he has done in previous games.

The Croats will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.

Having gone into extra time and penalties in their previous two games ahead of Wednesday's semi-final, Modric said there was an assumption that the Croatian team would be exhausted, giving England the advantage.

'It's coming home. Impossible, ' the youngster wrote.

"It's tough. We are gutted", said Kane.

As did Castlefield, in Manchester, and many towns and cities across England. Kevin Trippier curled in a free kick in the fifth minute.

It was a different game from then on, with Croatia suddenly playing with accuracy and objective as England lost their shape and composure, though Kane missed a chance to win it in stoppage time when he headed wide from a free kick.

A late Croatia onslaught was unable to complete the turnaround in 90 minutes and England stepped things up again in extra-time, nearly retaking the lead when John Stones had a header cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 98th minute.

Rakitic switched the ball from left flank to right, where Vrsaljko crossed. The ball found Mandzukic in stride and he drove a left-footed shot past diving English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Samuel Umtiti scored the only goal of the game, as France reached their second-consecutive major final having finished runners-up to Portugal at the European Championships two years ago.

- Ivan Perisic has been involved in 10 goals at major tournaments for Croatia (six goals, four assists), the joint-most, level with Davor Suker (nine goals, one assist).

Right now, individual awards may mean little to Kane - but his manager, England boss Gareth Southgate, believes the entire team can feel proud of what they accomplished in Russian Federation.

But Southgate paid tribute to all of his players and staff, after a summer adventure which will remain long in the memory of all England fans and will continue on Saturday when they face Belgium in the third place game.

According to Reuters journalist Simon Evans, Vrsaljko claimed that, contrary to popular opinion, this was not a new-look England team.

"But it's small margins, in extra time we get a corner cleared off the line".

As the action went end to end, Croatia had its chances, too.

Croatia rallies past England to reach World Cup final