It took 120-minutes to break hearts as England lost to Croatia 2-1 in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals after taking the lead in the 4th-minute. It was Kieran Trippier who gave England the early advantage. But then England missed out on a couple of opportunities in the first 35-minutes of the match.
Croatia did not allow England the second goal, which proved to be decisive as they frustrated England who is a team that likes to play attacking football. Both teams went into half-time with Trippier’s goal separating the two sides. Croatia, in their first semi since 1998, equalised through Ivan Perisic after 68 minutes and then looked the more dangerous side.
Both teams went into full-time 1-1. That did not look possible after the first 35 minutes.
Finally, it was Croatia who struck in the 109th minute when Perisic won a header on the edge of the box and the ball dropped for Mandzukic whose firm low finish beat Pickford. Pickford who had been the wall thus far, finally let one past him and all the dreams and hopes came crashing down. With just 9 minutes to go, Croatia tactfully slowed the game down and started ringing in the changes, just to kill time.
After 4 minutes of added time, Croatia made it to the finals for the first time in FIFA World Cup finals. Croatia will now face France in the finals that is slated to be held on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium, Russia.