Croatia book final date at England's expense

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 12, 2018 03:26 hrs
Croatia book final date at England's expense

1.Despite taking a very early lead, England lost their semifinal to Croatia who will now meet France in Sunday's final.

2.Coming into the match, 8 of England's 11 World Cup goals had come from set pieces. Here too, after England won a freekick in the third minute, Kieran Trippier scored his first international goal as England led 1-0.

3.They had plenty of chances after that. Raheem Sterling was particularly wasteful and it looked like England would pay for their sloppiness as Croatia were slowly getting back into the game.

4.The Croats were stunned by the early goal. But slowly, with Luka Modric leading the charge, they started passing around, looking for openings.

5.England tried to shut shop a little too early and switched to time-wasting tactics. Croatia could sniff an equalizer and they finally got one through Ivan Perisic.

6.Locked at 1-1, the game went to extra time. This was the third-straight game that had gone into 120 minutes for Croatia. That adds up to an entire extra match!

7.But they still seemed the fresher of the two sides. Mario Mandzukic, who almost scored a winner late into normal time, reacted quickly to make it 2-1 to Croatia.

8.After claiming the lead, Croatia defended for their lives as they saw out the game and booked a final date against France on Sunday.

9.As for the England fans, football unfortunately is not coming home just yet.