England lose out to Croatia in devastating semi-final

World Cup semi-finals

A stunning extra-time goal by Mario Mandzukic will see Croatia as the smallest nation to feature in a FIFA World Cup final after eliminating England 2-1.

The semi-final between England and Croatia took place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, the giant 80,000-capacity venue which will also host Sunday's grand final.

However, the biggest concern looking ahead to Sunday's game is bound to be fatigue, with Croatia having also required extra time and penalties to come through ties against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation in the past two weeks. The two teams played in the final group stage match with reserves, with Belgium winning 1-0 and earning placement into the tougher side of the knockout bracket as a result. "I can only compare it to when the Olympics came to London", Rimet said. "I could only dream of playing for Croatia once and to score an important goal", he said. But we aren't going to make excuses.

For France, losing in the 2016 European Championships final to Portugal in Paris has provided added motivation.

Umtiti played his part in a strong defensive effort by the French, too, helping to shut out the highest-scoring team at the tournament and leaving Belgium's golden generation of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to regret another missed opportunity at a major tournament. For the second straight game, an English player scored his first global goal in a World Cup knockout match, this time Kieran Trippier sending a sweet free kick into Croatia's net.

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Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russian Federation via a play-off win against Greece. "I'm sure the England squad are gutted to be playing football during my show, but hopefully they can catch it another time".

"Croatia has great players at great clubs around Europe", said Dalic. There's a lot we could have done better.

I was told it would resemble an apocalypse.

Speaking to Sky News 22 years on, the ex-footballer said: "Football's coming home, I couldn't listen to it for 20 years, frankly".

Asked what Macron said, Mbappe replied: "President Macron said that he would see us in the semifinals, and that he was going to come back to see us with the World Cup".

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