Vatreni (The Blazers) of Croatia on Wednesday, July 11, managed to defeat England over 120 minutes to seal their spot against France in the World Cup final in Russia for the first time.
The Three Lions of England had a dream start just under five (5) minutes in when Spurs player, Kieran Trippier managed to convert an absolutely beautiful free-kick just outside the box, leaving the Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic completely stranded.
Though the first half ended 1-0 in favour of England, Ivan Perisic, however, rejuvenated the World Cup hopes for the Croatians when he equalized on the 68th minutes.
Just when many had thought the game will go into penalties since it had already gone into an extra time, Mario Mandzukic scored on the 109th minute to put Croatia ahead for the first time in the match.
The game eventually ended 2-1 in favour of Croatia. The victory means Croatia will play France in the final on Saturday, July 15 while England will battle Belgium for the third place.
Speaking after the game, England captain, Harry Kane said: “It’s tough. We’re gutted, you know. We worked so hard. The fans were amazing. It was a tough game, a 50-50 game. I’m sure there was stuff we could have done better, but we worked as hard as we could. It hurts, it’ll hurt for a while, but we can hold our heads up high. It was a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone thought we could, we’ve just got to learn from it. We created some good chances, being 1-0 up.
“Maybe we dropped too deep at times. In big games, it’s small margins. There’s a lot we could have done better, but they played well. It’s been great to get to this stage, but we wanted to go on and win it. But we’ve fallen a bit short. It just hurts. It shows we can win knockout games; the next stage is to go one further. We’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again in a couple of years.”