(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

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WORLD CUP 2018: Croatia Vs England, Semi-final, LIVE

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Published:

FULL TIME: Croatia 2-1 England
 

120' + 4': One last free kick for England. Rashford to take it, and all the players in the attacking box. But it's cleared out, and Croatia win!
 

120': Selfish from Kramaric! Croatia break through and the substitute is through from the right side. Perisic is free on the left, shouting for the ball. But the No.9 has a go at goal, which is wide. Four minutes added on!
 

119': Final change by Croatia. Modric is given a breather, and Badelj is brought in for him.
 

116': Oh boy! England are down to 10 men now, as Trippier is holding his groin, and looks unlikely to continue.
 

115': Match-winner Mandzukic's day is over, and he is replaced for the final few minutes by Corluka.
 

112': England are bringing in their final change. Walker has been replaced by Vardy.
 

109': GOAL! Mandzukic has given Crotia the lead! A simple throw in is poorly dealt by the England defense. The ball is headed back into the box by Perisic, where Stones goes to sleep, allowing Mandzukic to run behind him and put his effort past a hapless Pickford.
 

107': Perisic, who has been sensational on the left side, earns his team another corner. Rakitic takes the corner shot, and onrushing Pivaric's effort is wide.
 

HALF TIME: Croatia 1-1 England
 

105' + 2': Great save by Pickford! A brilliant cross comes in from left by Perisic. Mandzukic gets to it first, but his effort is brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper. Mandzukic seems to have hurt himself in the process.
 

101': Third change by Serbia. Kramaric comes in to replace Rebic.
 

99': Cleared on the line! Trippier takes the corner, and Stones meets it with a powerful header. But Vrsaljko is there on the line to save the day for Croatia.
 

98': Dier earns England a corner after his effort from 25 yards out is blocked.
 

97': England make their third change. Henderson makes way for Dier.
 

96': Rebic tackles Rose from behind as he moves forward, and the referee books the Serbian this time.
 

95': Croatia are forced into a change. Strinic has picked up a knock, and he will be replaced by Pivaric.
 

Extra time begins, with England making a change. Young is replaced by Rose.
 

FULL TIME: Croatia 1-1 England
 

90' + 2': England get a free kick. Trippier puts the ball in the box. Kane meets it with his head, but his effort is wide.
 

83': Great ball over the top of England defense finds Mandzukic. He chests the ball down and hits a shot on the very first attempt. But it's straight at Pickford.
 

74': First change for England! Sterling's horrible night comes to end as he is replaced by Rashford.
 

71': Off the post! Perisic gets one on one with Walker, and beats him with ease. He then has a go at the goal, but it hits the post. The rebound by Rebic is straight at Pickford.
 

68': GOAL! Perisic equalizes! Vrsaljko is given so much space on the right, and he puts in a great cross. Perisic runs from the far post and nicks the ball ahead of Walker to put the ball in the net.
 

59': Rebic puts a cross, and Walker mistimes his clearance for a corner. Modric to take it. His corner is well punched out by Pickford.
 

56': A long ball is headed down by Kane for Sterling, who cushions the ball for Lingard. His effort is blocked for a corner. Trippier over it.
 

54': Now Walker gets a yellow card! After putting the ball out for a throw in, he refuses to give the ball to Croatia, and then gets involved in a bit of pushing.
 

52': The referee had booked Mandzukic, and not Rebic a few minutes back. Very surprising, given it was the latter who conceded a foul.
 

48': First yellow card of the match goes to Rebic! He jumps in the air for a ball, but catches Walker with his arm. The referee decides to finally book him, given this was his fourth or fifth challenge.
 

HALF TIME: Croatia 0-1 England
 

45': One minute added on!
 

36': Brilliant counter by England! Kane wins the ball in his own box, before setting Alli free. The midfielder reaches the penalty box, and after getting crowded, cuts back the ball towards Lingard. The Manchester United man tries to side foot the ball in the corner, but miscues horribly.
 

33': Brilliant interception by Young! Perisic plays a brilliant low cross from the left. It evades Mandzukic and the centre back of England. Rebic looks set to get a shot, but Young somehow scamper it away for a corner.
 

31': Now Croatia with their chance! Rebic gets the ball on the edge of the box. He strikes it well, but it's straight at Pickford.
 

30': What a double save by Subasic! Kane is fed in the penalty box by a lovely pass by Lingard. But he hits the ball straight at Subasic. The ball rebounds, and Kane has a go from a tough angle. His shot his the post, and then hits Subasic before play is stopped for offside.
 

22': Shocking miss from Kane, but he is offside anyway! Croatia make a mistake at the back, and Sterling pounces on it. He passes it to Kane, who missed the target, almost knowingly he was offside.
 

19': With chances tough to come by, Perisic decides to have a crack from 25 yards out. His effort takes the slightest of deflections of England defender, but the referee fails to spot it and gives a goal kick.
 

14': England switch the ball from left to right with some good play, and find Trippier in open spaces. His low cross though, is knocked out for a corner. Trippier takes the delivery, and Maguire again heads it. But just like last time, it's wide.
 

12': Young takes the corner, and Maguire meets it with his head. But his effort is well over. The referee had already called for a foul against a English player though.
 

11': Brozovic tackles Alli near the halfway line, but his interception unfortunately goes out for a corner.
 

8': A ball is put in from left by Perisic, but Young can only thwart it out for a corner.
 

5': GOAL! What a free kick from Trippier! He curls a ball over the top of the wall, and Subasic has no chance to save it.
 

4': Free kick for England in a very dangerous position! Alli looks to run straight towards the penalty box, but is fouled 20 yards from goal by Modric.
 

3': A slow start from both the teams as they look to feel their opponents.
 

KICK OFF!
 

The line-ups are out for both the teams.
 


Just like all the other England matches, Wayne Rooney is ready and cheering for his country.
 


France have confirmed their place in the final, and now it's time decide which of Croatia and England will face them on Sunday. Both the nation should be proud of their achievements in World Cup 2018 till date. But now, only one can continue on their fairytale run. England have done it before, way back in 1966. But they will up against the 'golden generation' of Croatia. 


So, just four more matches remain till the end of World Cup 2018. The edition in Russia has been arguably one of the best ever, and has produced endless moments of excitement and action.

The last four standing in the competition are France, Belgium, England and Croatia. Against all the odds, the favorites like Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina were knocked out early.

Quality hasn't been lacking one bit from World Cup 2018. The introduction of VAR has spiced things up, so much so that the first 36 matches produced at least one goal. 

The second semi-final sees two surprise elements of this tournament. Both England and Croatia have quality within their ranks, but not many expected them to reach till this far.

England came to World Cup with a young squad and a young manager in Gareth Southgate. Not many gave them a chance, and against all the odds, they have delivered, that too with flair at times.

The decision to play back three has been key to their success. Harry Maguire and John Stones are two bright young talents, and have been just brilliant. Along with them, Kyle Walker has stepped to being played as centre back with ease. His blistering pace and strength means he has edge over most strikers in the game.

The wing backs, Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier, have been very tidy, and have done what has been asked of them. England's strengths though, lies in their attacking half. In Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard, they a set of young, fiery players who have gelled extremely well.

In comparison, Croatia's 'golden generation' has not disappointed at all. A mixture of aggression and calmness has seen them reach this far. And well, their squad does boast some really big names.

With Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric in midfield, any team can feel comfortable. The duo have lit the tournament on fire with their creativity. Modric especially has been exceptional, with many backing him to win the 'Golden Ball'.

Their forward line isn't bad either. In Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebić and Andrej Kramarić, they have four hard-working attacking players, capable of producing on their days.

And let's not forget Danijel Subašić. He was their hero in the penalty shootout wins over Denmark and Russia. 

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