Croatia sends England home to advance to first-ever World Cup final

Croatia sends England home to advance to first-ever World Cup final


Last Updated Jul 11, 2018 5:03 PM EDT




MOSCOW -- Croatia beat England 2-1 on Wednesday in the World Cup semi-finals, earning a trip to the final in a first in the country's history. Mario Mandzukic scored in the 109th minute to give the Croats a 2-1 victory over England on Wednesday.


About 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored, defender Sime Vrsaljko headed a shot on target off the goal line to keep the score tied. 


Kieran Trippier had given England the lead by scoring from a free kick in the fifth minute. But Ivan Perisic equalized in the 68th after getting his foot to ball before England defender Kyle Walker could head it away. 


England had been trying to reach its first World Cup final since winning its only title in 1966. 


Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991. France, which won its only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday. Croatia will be coming off its third straight extra-time match. 


When the final whistle blew and they knew they were going to their first World Cup final, the Croatians ran to their exuberant fans, jumping in their iconic red-and-white checkered jerseys.


World Cup - Semi Final - Croatia v England

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 11, 2018.



CARL RECINE/REUTERS



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