Historic final for Croatia after 2-1 win over England

Croatia will play France in Sunday’s final[/caption] Croatia came from a goal down to beat England 2-1 in the second semi-final game of the ongoing FIFA World Cup to reach the final for the first time. A Mario Madzukic strike in extra time sent the Croats beyond the historic feat of France ’98. Coincidentally, they will meet the country where that feat was chalked in Sunday’s final at the Luzhniki Stadium, where Wednesday’s win over the 1966 champions was also clinched. Sunday’s final will also see Zlatko Dalic’s side come face-to-face with the side that stopped them from reaching the final two decades ago. But it was all to win for their semi-final opponents, England, who opened the scoring after just five minutes of play. Kieran Trippier’s sublime free kick beat Danijel Subasic in the Croatian goal. The Three Lions were on cruise after the goal in the first half but failed to double their lead. The Croats may have been buoyed by the half-time talk by Dalic as the search for an equaliser became more intense as the minutes rolled by. With 22 minutes to the end of the game, Ivan Perisic stretched his legs ahead of Kyle Walker to meet an in-swinger, which beat Jordan Pickford. It was the all-important equaliser. This forced the match into extra time, the third consecutive additional 30 minutes for the Croats. In the previous times, the matches travelled into penalties and they emerged victorious – the first in the Round of 16 against Denmark and the second in the quarter-final against Russia. But the semi-final extra-time did not go into spot kicks after the Juventus man beat the offside trap to send the ball beyond Pickford. It ended 2-1. Football is not coming home, after all. It is going to France or Croatia. The Three Lions will face their Group G opponents – Belgium – again in the third-place play-offs.

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By Emmanuel Kwame Amohh|3news.com|Ghana    ]]>