Croatia makes it to the final in FIFA World Cup 2018. There first appearance in one.
England enjoyed a lot of possession in the early exchanges and stunned Croatia with a goal inside five minutes of the most awaited World Cup of the year. A lovely touch from Jesse Lingard set up Dele Alli, who was fouled by Luka Modric just outside the box in a central position. Kieran Trippier stepped up and curled a glorious effort into the top corner to net his first international goal. With England on the front foot, Raheem Sterling almost latched onto a pass from Jordan Henderson but Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic raced out to claim the ball. The Manchester City winger’s pace was being targeted on the counter and Sime Vrsaljko was lucky to intercept a long ball with nobody else near them.
Croatia regained their composure and began to put a string of passes together. Ivan Perisic’s long-range shot whistled past the post after taking a deflection off the heel of Kyle Walker and Ante Rebic found some space but saw his effort brilliantly blocked by a diving John Stones.
Southgate brought on Jamie Vardy for Walker in his last throw of the dice. Perisic was unable to connect on a shot inside the box and Mandzukic limped off with cramp to be replaced by Vedran Corluka. Trippier also had to hobble off with a groin injury, meaning England went down to 10 men as they had used all their subs.
Pickford spilled a shot but gathered it before Domagoj Vida could get there. And Croatia made their final change as Modric came off for Milan Badelj with two minutes left on the clock.
Kramaric broke free but failed to spot a teammate in open space in the box and blasted his shot into the side-netting. Minutes later, the whistle went.
Inside the final 15 minutes, Croatia continued to dominate and Walker did well to stop Perisic from reaching Modric’s cross. Lingard managed to get in behind the defense, but there were no England teammates to get on the end of his shot as it fizzed across the box.
Croatia was through into their first FIFA World Cup 2018 final; England going home.