Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Croatia into the World Cup Final!

Croatia into the World Cup Final!

Ivan Perisic drew Croatia level and Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 extra-time win to propel the country into their first World Cup final.

"We gave it everything, I know we're gonna look back and say we could have done this and what but at the end of the day it was small margins in a big game and it didn't go our way today", said striker Kane, now the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

Croatia reached the first World Cup final in their young history on Wednesday, prolonging England's decades of pain as they set up a decider against France with a 2-1 win.

Croatia completed an impressive comeback against Gareth Southgate's side after Kieran Trippier opened the scoring in only the 5th minute at the Luzhniki Stadium. We showed that we were the better team in all segments of the game. I've not met many players as driven as Luka, and I've seen even fewer who are as talented as him.

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play", Southgate admitted. "We have to be proud".

"It hurts, it'll hurt for a while, but we can hold our heads up high".

"English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia and that was a huge mistake", Real Madrid's Modric told ITV. "France, who are better than England, can hardly stop them", wrote Drazen Antolic. Croatia's form improved as the half drew on, but after more failed attempts on goal, the teams went into half-time 1-0 to England.

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"But we handled it well, but unfortunately we conceded at the wrong time, after that I thought we again picked it up again and done well".

The Republic of Ireland assistant manager was also highly critical of John Stones, who was caught out for Mandzukic's decisive extra time goal.

No penalty shootout was needed, though, as Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic struck a killer blow late in the game to break England's hearts.

England players were inconsolable at the final whistle as it began to sink in that the World Cup was not "coming home" and Balotelli appeared to revel in their misery.

Croatia had 45 minutes to keep their World Cup dream alive but with Modric well contained, and Strinic and Vrsaljko forced into playing long balls, an equaliser look like it would be hard to come by.

"We've left everything out there, you can look at the goals and the chances, but I don't think over the six or seven weeks we've been together we could've given any more".

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