Moscow 11 July 2018 (FIFA)
Croatia have reached their first FIFA World Cup Final, coming from behind to defeat England 2-1 after extra time at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow – with Mario Mandzukic’s extra time goal the decisive strike.
The game had started so well for the Three Lions. Less than five minutes were on the clock when Kieran Trippier curled a delicious free-kick past the helpless Danijel Subasic.
Croatia struck back after the break. After continually increasing the pressure on the Three Lions, Sime Vrsaljko’s pinpoint cross was met by Ivan Perisic, who snuck in to level from close range. Less than five minutes later, Perisic found himself in space in the English penalty area, but his effort struck the post, and the follow-up was gratefully held by Jordan Pickford.
The Inter Milan man’s effort off the woodwork was the closest either side came to taking the lead before the 90 minutes were up, meaning England faced a second period of extra time at Russia 2018 – with Croatia undertaking a third consecutive additional 30 minutes.
Vatreni did not need penalties this time though. Mandzukic ghosted in behind the English defence, who momentarily lost concentration, and the Juventus man hammered home a historic strike to send his country into their maiden World Cup Final.