11 July 2018 • 9:43pm A World Cup final will have to wait for Gareth Southgate’s England, whose unexpectedly prolonged run in the competition was ended in the semi-finals by Croatia at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. Croatia went behind early but took the game to extra time, where it was settled in the second period by striker Mario Mandzukic. England took the lead through their right wing-back Kieran Trippier, whose excellent fifth minute free kick curled into the top-right hand corner of Danijel Subašić’s goal. With Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard spurning chances afterwards, England went in for the break feeling they could have been in a bigger lead. But Croatia emerged for the second half with renewed energy and attacking purpose. Their increased pressure told in the 69th minute when Ivan Perisic guided an excellent Sime Vrsaljko cross past Jordan Pickford. Three minutes later Perisic took advantage of a mix-up at the back to get a shot away which came back off the upright. Croatia looked vastly more likely to score in what remained of normal time, with England visibly rocked by the equaliser and making the sorts of poor decisions and wayward passes that stirred unhappy memories of previous… Read full this story
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