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Croatia end England’s World Cup bid with a 2-1 win


By Erel Cabatbat

Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal lifted Croatia over England and into the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals for the first time in its history.

With the score pegged at 1-all, Mandzukic found the back of the net in the 109th minute to seal Croatia’s astonishing win again the Three Lions.

England took the lead with fans barely warming up their seats after Kieran Trippier scored off a free-kick just five minutes into the game.

The fullback rifled a screamer past the Croatian wall from 20 yards out and the grasp of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to give England a perfect start in their semifinal match-up.

The ending, however, went sideways for the Three Lions.

Croatia found the equalizer through Ivan Perisic in the 68th minute. Perisic beat Kyle Walker to finish a Sime Vrsalijko cross into the box to tie the game.

The score stood until regulation.

In extra time, Mandzukic scored the biggest goal of his career after beating John Stones and England goalie Jordan Pickford to set a Croatia versus France for all the marbles in the finals.