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Croatia 2-1 England (AET): Three Lions' World Cup dreams dashed

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England players: Devastated after their World Cup semi-final defeat
England players: Devastated after their World Cup semi-final defeat

Croatia will face France in their first World Cup final after coming from behind to dash England's dreams with a 2-1 extra-time victory at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Mario Mandzukic scored the goal that broke English hearts after 109 minutes as Croatia surpassed their 1998 side by securing their place in football's greatest game.

They have been installed at a price of 13/8 with Sky Bet to beat Didier Deschamps' odds-on favourites and lift the trophy.

It had started so promisingly for England who took the lead through Kieran Trippier's wonderful fifth-minute free-kick, but Ivan Perisic forced extra-time with Croatia's equaliser after 68 minutes.

Juventus striker Mandzukic then capitalised on a brief lapse in the English defence to put Croatia ahead for the first time, and there was no way back for Gareth Southgate's men.

Croatia will remain in Moscow for Sunday's World Cup final against France while England travel to Saint Petersburg for Saturday's third-place play-off against Belgium.

GOAL VIDEOS

Croatia 0-1 England: Kieran Trippier - 5'

Croatia 1-1 England: Ivan Perisic - 68'

Croatia 2-1 England: Mario Mandzukic - 109'

Opta match facts

  • England have now been eliminated in four of their five semi-finals at major tournaments, losing each of the last four in a row (Euro 1968 v Yugoslavia, World Cup 1990 v Germany, Euro 1996 v Germany and World Cup 2018 v Croatia).
  • Croatia have qualified for their first ever World Cup final in their fifth appearance at the World Cup finals.
  • England have lost three competitive games against Croatia (3) since the turn of the Millennium, more than any against any other nation.
  • Mario Mandzukic’s winning goal was the latest goal ever conceded by England in a World Cup match (108:03).
  • Ivan Perisic has been involved in 10 goals at major tournaments for Croatia (6 goals, 4 assists), the joint-most, level with Davor Suker (9 goals, 1 assist).
  • Kieran Trippier’s goal after 4 minutes and 44 seconds was the fastest goal scored in a World Cup semi-final since 1958 (Vava after two minutes for Brazil v France).
  • England scored nine goals from set pieces at the 2018 World Cup – the most by a team in a single World Cup tournament since 1966.
Mario Mandzukic celebrates his extra-time winner for Croatia against England in the World Cup semi-final
Mario Mandzukic celebrates his extra-time winner

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Related World Cup links

Most Read Football

The latest from the back pages1

Thursday's Paper Talk

Wolves defender Conor Coady could be in line for an England call-up after impressing for the Premier League new boys...

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games2

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League kicks off on Thursday with Chelsea and Arsenal fancied for success. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.

Champions League review: A night to forget for Manchester City3

Man City lose, Man United cruise

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We're backing a Bundesliga side for success in the Europa League this season4

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Arsenal and Chelsea may find themselves as favourites for Europa League glory this season, but Tom Carnduff is looking elsewhere.

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks down in tears after being sent off5

Ronaldo sent off for Juventus

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Football Tips

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