Croatia 2 England 1: Extra-time victor knocks out Southgate’s men


What happened this morning?

England are out of the Fifa World Cup after Croatia fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in extra time in a dramatic semifinal in Moscow.

A free kick in the fifth minute near Croatia's box gave Kieran Trippier an early goal - an arcing shot that soared over Croatia's wall, so good Croatian goalie Danijel Subasic could only shrug.

England have been knocked out of the World Cup after Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandžukić's goals denied the opener from Kerian Trippier.

England had got off to a flying start when Trippier curled a superb free kick into the top corner.

England and West Germany were goalless at halftime at Turin's Stadio delle Alpi.

Perisic almost followed up with a second goal moments after his first but he hit the post for the second game in succession.

Croatia, in their first semi since 1998, levelled through Ivan Perisic after 68 minutes and then looked the more risky side.

Given Croatia had extra time and penalties to recover from, England should come into the game fresher and they also have the edge in previous meetings, winning four of the seven encounters, including a 5-1 victory in their most recent match - a World Cup qualifier in 2009.

Gareth Southgate kept faith with the same side which has taken England to the semi-finals at the Luzhniki Stadium. This time, the Croatians have only recorded a few shots at Jordan Pickford's goal from outside the penalty area, majority off target.

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After scoring at the World Cup, the Three Lions midfielder could have lapped up the feat, but instead focused on how he needs to improve.

"He was a constant threat to Sweden, of course he hasn't scored the goals he would have liked to have scored but for myself and the players he has been a crucial part of the way that we have been playing", he said.

Crawford spoke about the influence manager, Gareth Southgate has had on this group of players, adding: "After the 1990 and 96 tournaments, we all felt a bit flat because Bobby Robson and Terry Venables left their post once it was over".

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarizing debate in England with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October, 2015 but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential. Pickford hadn't conceded since England's win over Colombia in the round of 16.

The other sub-plot in Wednesday's match will be Harry Kane's race to the golden boot. Only Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard have scored on every day of the week for England.

This is a proud nation and a proud football team, and to reach a World Cup final would represent a truly remarkable story.

The extra-time defeat will hurt for a long time, England striker Harry Kane said.

"We are just going to stick with what we have been doing all the way through". "It's supposed to be fun, isn't it?" The Three Lions haven't won a World Cup since 1966, and their attempts since have been farcical. Young team with huge potential.

Croatia's victory will see them play France in the World Cup final at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.