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RSS FeedsCroatia finds an extra gear to outclass England and reach World Cup final
(The Star Travel)


12 july 2018 00:06:51

Croatia finds an extra gear to outclass England and reach World Cup final
(The Star Travel)

MOSCOW—Call them the extra specialists. Croatia roared back in the face of England’s irresistible dream to shatter Gareth Southgate’s side and make it to a first ever World Cup final as they won a breath-taking semifinal in Moscow.While England dominated the early exchanges and looked to have one foot in Sunday’s decider against France, Croatia adjusted, battled back into the contest and for the third straight game, went beyond 90 minutes to claim glory, winning 2-1 after extra time at a pulsating Luzhniki Stadium.Read more:With World Cup title, France could launch a dynastyConvicted Croatian official still a World Cup VIPCroatia bars former player from World Cup delegation over pro-Ukraine videoKieran Trippier’s delightful free-kick had given England the lead just five minutes in and their belief soared again. But they were wasteful with the chances that followed. As Croatia clawed their way into things, England fell further back and offered up chances. Ivan Perisic took one on 68 minutes and the sides stayed level to the end of normal time. It stayed that way until the second half of extra time when this remarkably resilient Croatian side rose again. English concentration fell asunder and Mario Mandzukic stole in to fire his side ahead. They clung on confidently and even though their legs must be beyond weary, they will return back here on Sunday night and face France in what shapes to be an unmissable decider.Unlike the previous night when empty seats in Saint Petersburg had been a signal of a night devoid of atmosphere, things crackled from the kick-off here.Trippier raised the roof just five minutes in. Modric had clumsily tried to chase Dele Alli back and gave away a free kick in a dangerous area. Trippier proved just how dangerous, whipping a delicious effort up and over the wall that had rippled the net before Danijel Subasic got anywhere near it. There’d been a glut of set-piece goals at this World Cup but few were as ...
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