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Croatia beat England 2-1 to secure a spot in the World Cup final

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Croatia beat England 2-1 to secure a spot in the World Cup final

 Croatia beat England 2-1 to secure a spot in the World Cup final
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Croatia will play in their first ever World Cup final after an extra-time victory over England.

England went in front through Tripper but an equaliser in normal time from Perisic and an extra time goal from Mandžukić gave Croatia victory.

Kieran Trippier opened the scoring in the first five minutes. Luke Modric gave away a free-kick and Trippier powered it past Subasic.

Harry Kane almost doubled his side's lead after beating the offside trap, with Subasic denying him twice.

Croatia's first real chance came to Rebic as his shot was directed at Pickford, but he saved with ease.

In stoppage time, Dejan Lovren claimed to have been fouled for a penalty but VAR judged it not to be a foul.

Croatia grew into the game in the second half and secured an equaliser in the 68th minute, as Perisic scored with an instinctive finish.

England were assertive in the first half but were under the cosh in the second period after the equaliser.

Perisic almost scored a second but his effort clipped the post.

With the score level, the game moved in to extra time. John Stones almost headed England into the lead but Vrsaljko headed off the line.

But it was Croatia who went in front thanks to Mandžukić. A headed pass to Perisic found the Juve frontman and he slotted it past Pickford.

5 things to take away from England v Croatia

Croatian heart prevails

Despite going into extra time three consecutive times, there was no signs of fatigue for Croatia. Penalties weren't needed unlike their previous match. France, however, will have fresh legs for the final, will it finally take its toll on the Croats?

Jules Rimet still gleaming

"It's coming home" was the adopted anthem for England this tournament, but the lyric "Jules Rimet still gleaming" is truer. It's four more years added to England's last World Cup win in 1966.

England peaked too early?

There's nothing wrong with an early start and Trippier's goal gave England hope. However they found shots on target hard to come by. Harry Kane played too deep in this game and failed to get involved.

National pride restored, however

The feeling from England though is fans have a team that they can have pride in. Their mistakes from their previous tournament, where they were knocked out, have been replaced by a country coming together.

Mandzukic the man

With a team glittered with key individuals such as Lovren, Modric and Rakitic, it was the reliable Mario Mandžukić who scored the winner. 31 goals in 87 appearances stresses how important he is to Croatia.