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Croatia rally to beat England, make maiden entry in WC final

Croatia’s Ivan Perisic scores the equaliser against England during the World Cup semifinal at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, on Wednesday. - AP/PTI
 MOSCOW, July 11: Croatia came from behind to snatch a place in the final by defeating England 2-1 in the second semifinal today.

Having failed to ensure a clear result as the match proceeded into extra-time after a 1-1 scoreline in regulation time, Croatia scored the all important goal in the 109th minute.

Croatia had a better ball possession in the first half with 53 per cent compared to England’s 43 per cent till half time, however, they failed to find the back of the net until Ivan Perisic equalised in the 68th minute.

England got off to a dream start when Kieran Trippier gave his side the much required lead in the fifth minute. Trippier converted through a free-kick just from around 20 yards out to hand his side the desired start to the contest. The full-back lined up his effort and curled his strike over the wall. Danijel Subasic attempted to get across, but the strike was well placed to travel beyond the Croatian custodian into the top corner.

Harry Kane had an excellent chance to increase England’s advantage, only to be denied by Subasic in the 29th minute. He went for the follow-up from a tight angle, but smashed his effort off the post.

Switching sides, Croatia were much more on the attacking side with numerous inroads which finally paved the way for their equaliser.

Making his way from the right flank, Sime Vrsaljko provided Perisic with a golden opportunity which the latter grabbed with an effort into bottom corner to make it 1-1.

The Croats finally provided the hammer blow to the English hopes in the 109th minute when Mario Mandzukic found the back of the net. – Agencies

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