World Cup: England's World Cup dreams dashed as Croatia progress make history in reaching the tournament's final for the first time
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England suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Zlatko Dalić’s Croatia, ending the Three Lion’s dream of finally bringing football home. Mario Mandzukic’s extra time winner was the final nail in the coffin for England who will now battle it out against Belgium for third place. England took the lead in the fifth minute with Kieran Trippier’s stunning free kick that sailed past the hands of Subašić. England then went on to dominate the first half of the match with the Croatian’s failing to make their first attempt on goal until the 19th minuite. England looked to increase their lead multiple times during the first half, with Harry Kane fluffing a perfect opportunity to pass the ball into the back of the Croatian net. As the first half drew to a close, Croatia seemed much more threatening. The Croation’s seemed likely to net their first goal following Rebic’s cross but Stones cleared the danger before a follow up shot went straight into the hands of Pickford. With the first half drawing to a close and the English enjoying the lead, it would be their failure to convert chances into goals that would be their downfall. If Harry Kane had been able to slip the ball past Subašić and doubled the lead, then the story of the second half may have been very different. Vrsalijko’s 68th equaliser punished the English defence despite Manchester City’s Kyle Walker providing a stunning block merely moments before. It seemed that the English dream was to be dashed only four minutes later after Perisic’s shot hit the post. The dominant team that controlled the first 45 minutes had clearly dropped their heads, with error after error started to break into the English game. England looked like they fancied the draw, having the chance to break the Croatian’s momentum to regroup and start again in extra time.
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