Mandzukic sends Croatia to first World Cup final

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The Real Madrid midfielder said the way British media ruled them out as pushovers gave them even more reason to win and prove England wrong.

"We're in a great place", he said.

It all looked peachy for the Poms early, when right-back Kieran Trippier put in a sizzling free kick from close range - his first ever goal at global level.

Croatia's supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England, at the main square in Zagreb.

Croatia were a different team after the break, dominating play and looking the better side.

Ivan Perisic delivered in the 68th minute and Croatia's confidence surged while England's calm organisation began to crack.

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The 1-1 score held as the match went into extra time.

Croatia's legs at the start seemed to carry the weight of so many minutes in the knockout stage, and a pressing England went up quickly.

About 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored, defender Sime Vrsaljko headed a shot on target off the goal line to keep the score tied. It's enjoyable, we all love to play the game and fans love to support it. "It hurts a lot, [and will hurt] for a while".

If Lovren can go one better with his national team at the World Cup than his club team did in the Champions League then we may have to start accepting he's pretty good. It's been a fantastic journey.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball". First of all I'm so proud of this team and staff for giving everything we could over a long period of time together.

"I'm sure this World Cup is ours", Robin from Cambridge says whilst her friends lavish praise on Harry Kane.

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Kane looks set to claim the Golden Boot as the World Cup's leading scorer, but the Tottenham star rarely looked like adding to his six goals against Croatia.

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares.

Croatia have now played the equivalent of a whole match more than Didier Deschamps' team ahead of Sunday's final in the Russian capital but must gird themselves for one final push for glory.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was delighted to have the chance to bury the pain of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

The Three Lions will visit Croatia on October 12 and Gareth Southgate will no doubt be keen to right the wrongs from their World Cup semi-final clash.

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