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National Teams

More extra-time drama

Croatia overcomes
England to reach the
World Cup Final!

Croatia overcomes England to reach the World Cup Final!
photo by: HNS
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With an extra-time victory over England (2:1), Croatia secured the World Cup Final berth for the first time in history!

CROATIA - ENGLAND 2:1 (1:1, 0:1)
2018 FIFA World Cup, semifinals.
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

Referee: C. Cakir (Turkey)

Goals: 0:1 - Trippier (5'), 1:1 - Perišić (68'), 2:1 - Mandžukić (109')

Cautions: Mandžukić (48'), Walker (54'), Rebić (96')

Croatia: Subašić, Strinić (95' Pivarić), Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Brozović, Rakitić, Perišić, Modrić (119' Badelj), Rebić (101' Kramarić), Mandžukić (115' Ćorluka). Head coach: Z. Dalić.

England: Pickford, Walker (112' Vardy), Maguire, Stones, Young (91' Rose), Lingard, Henderson (97' Dier), Alli, Trippier, Sterling (74' Rashford), Kane. Head coach: G. Southgate.

photo by: HNS

Croatia national football team reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup final! In the semifinal match against England, Croatia won 2:1 after extra-time and meets France to decide the title.


England, however, took the lead early on. With five minutes played, Trippier scored brilliantly from a free-kick, in the top right corner.


Before the break, Perišić and Rebić tried to score from distance, while England had promising opportunites for Kane and Lingard. Even when the play resumed, Croatia did not manage to unlock the English defence.

On 68 minutes, though, Vrsaljko crossed to Perišić, who reacted quickly to beat his defender and put the ball in the back of the net (1:1).

photo by: HNS

This gave more wings to Zlatko Dalić's men, who took control of the game, with Perišić hitting the woodwoork, Pickford saving Mandžukić's effort, and Perišić missing the target. 

It was another extra-time for Croatia, third in three World Cup second round matches. And after Vrsaljko cleared Stones' header off the line, and Pickford repeatedly intervened to stop Mandžukić, the winning goal finally came on 109 minutes.


photo by: HNS

Perišić headed a rebound in the box towards Mandžukić, who kept a cool head to beat Pickford and secure Croatia's place in the final (2:1).

The World Cup Final is scheduled on Sunday, 15 July at 17:00 CET, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Vatreni, congratulations!

photo by: HNS

WC 2018 - Semifinals, 11.07.2018.. Spectators: 78011
Referees: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Bahattin Duran (TUR), Taik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth referee: BJorn Kuipers (NED)
23Danijel Subašić1Jordan Pickford
7Ivan Rakitić2Kyle Walker
10Luka Modrić
5John Stones
2Šime Vrsaljko6Harry Maguire
6Dejan Lovren7Jesse Lingard
18Ante Rebić
8Jordan Henderson
4Ivan Perišić
9Harry Kane
3Ivan Strinić
10Rahaeem Sterling
17Mario Mandžukić
12Kieran Trippier
21Domagoj Vida18Ashley Young
11Marcelo Brozović20Dele Alli
1Dominik Livaković13Jack BUtland
12Lovre Kalinić23Nick Pope
14Filip Bradarić3Danny Rose
9Andrej Kramarić
4Eric Dier
8Mateo Kovačić11Jamie Vardy
5Vedran Ćorluka
14Danny Welbeck
15Duje Ćaleta-Car15Gary Cahill
13Tin Jedvaj16Phil Jones
20Marko Pjaca17Fabian Delph
22Josip Pivarić
19Marcus Rashford
19Milan Badelj
21Ruben Loftus-Cheek
22Trent Alexander-Arnold
Zlatko DalićGareth Southgate

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić and international defender Dejan Lovren held a press conference on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals with England.

Zlatko Dalić

"Croatia has excellent players in some of the Europe's biggest clubs and it is no surprise to see us in the semifinals, despite the lack of real success in previous major competitions since 1998. This generation proved its quality when they really had to, and will be remembered as the generation that finally repeated that success. Moreover, Luka Modrić is probably playing the best football of his career. We are a team that stands together and doesn't give up. Vrsaljko still has a small problem with his knee, and we'll decide on his appearance before the match. However, there are no excuses, we will not say that we are tired. We can get even more tired"

"We are aware of England qualities and this will be a different match, compared to our encounters with Iceland, Denmark, and Russia. We will accept this, take care of set-piece, but there is no reason for pressure. We came to the World Cup to play football, to rejoice, and we'll see what is the outcome. Croatia is a country where anything is possible, with four million people celebrating in the streets make us proud. These emotions carry us throughout the tournament, and I'm convinced we deserved to be here. I cannot imagine what it would be like to become world champions. We are also thankful to Russia, for everything we have experienced here. The welcome was beautiful in every city"

Dejan Lovren

"I can only imagine the atmosphere in England, but Croatian people also expect much from this game. It will be tough, but interesting, for both sides. I've met many England internationals in Premiership matches, and we are very aware of their qualities, I can only praise them further. We fully respect Kane, but he is not the only threat. Croatia, on the other hand, does not want to stop here, we want to achieve more. The manager believes in us - he did so when few others did - and we do the best we can. The Croatian people never had it easy, and we want to bring them some joy, including a medal. We've had a chance to recover from two tough, long matches. When the stakes are this high, nobody is tired. It's once in a lifetime opportunity. Russia deserves all the praise for a great organization of the World Cup"

foto: HNS