Moscow [Russia], July 12: Croatia defeated England in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium by 2-1 in extra-time to reach their first-ever FIFA World Cup final.
All credit goes to prolific goalscorer Mario Mandzukic for scoring the goal in the second period of extra-time.
In the first five minutes of the game, Kieran Trippier gave England the lead with a fabulous free-kick, which somehow opened their account for the match.
Following that, the game slowed down but fans remained unperturbed.
When the referee blew his whistle, England went into the break with a lead as Trippier’s free-kick had made a clear path for their country.
Meanwhile, Croatia clawed their way back into the match, making their way to score one. They were playing well but lacked the final touch and confidence.
Soon after the start of the second half, Croatia was trying hard since long to score while England were happy to sit back and defend.
To everyone’s surprise, Perisic equalised the score with a wonderful header.
The game was nearing the end but neither of the teams looked close to break the deadlock.
Nearing half-time of extra-time, it seemed highly unlikely that England was though.
Then Mandzukic put Croatia in front and broke the spell. Somehow, Mandzukic was fast enough to react to Ivan Perišic’s header and shot past Jordan Pickford and that send Croatia into their first-ever World Cup final.
Croatia will now lock horns with France in the World Cup final on July 15.