You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.
Mario Mandžukić
Ivan Perišić
Josip Pivarić
Ivan Strinić
Ante Rebić
Andrej Kramarić
Ante Rebić
Mario Mandžukić
Vedran Ćorluka
Mario Mandžukić
Milan Badelj
Luka Modrić
Kieran Trippier
Kyle Walker
Marcus Rashford
Raheem Shaquille Sterling
Danny Rose
Ashley Young
Eric Dier
Jordan Brian Henderson
Jamie Vardy
Kyle Walker
Croatia Logo
England Logo
Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
It should be an enthralling battle between France and Croatia in the final. England have played above expectations in the World Cup, but will have to settle for a third-place playoff showdown against Belgium.
It was looking good for England when Kieran Trippier curled a free-kick into the top corner in the fifth minute of the contest. However, they failed to capitalise on their chances in the first period and were made to pay as Croatia controlled the second half. Ivan Perisic deservedly notched an equaliser and came close to a second when he struck the post. John Stones almost turned the match back in the favour of the Three Lions, but his header was cleared off the line. A lapse at the back allowed Mandzukic to score early into the second period of extra-time to send Croatia through.
Mario Mandzukic's strike in the second half of extra-time allows Croatia to advance to the World Cup final for the first time in their history. It was a close contest, but Zlatko Dalic's men displayed the clinical edge in the final third to secure their final berth where they will take on France.
Croatia clear their lines as Rashford's delivery is headed away.
England have a free-kick for a handball. Last chance saloon.
Pivaric floats a hopeful cross into the box, failing to take it into the corner. Pickford gathers and England come forward.
Lingard floats a hopeful ball into the box, but Subasic gathers the ball with ease ahead of Kane.
There will be four minutes of added time.
Kramaric has the chance to end the game for Croatia as he has Perisic unmarked in the box, but he goes for goal himself and blasts his strike into the side-netting.
Modric makes way for Badelj.
Rashford sends the ball into the box and Maguire competes it for alongside Lovren. It skims the head of Lovren and goes out. The referee awards a goal-kick to Croatia.
Alli goes down and wins England a free-kick.
Corluka makes way for Mandzukic.
Croatia are doing their utmost to take time out of the game. Every second counts at this stage.
England probe on the edge of the box, but Kane loses possession at a vital moment.
Walker makes way for Vardy as England reach desperation stakes.
Perisic nods the ball on into the final third and Mandzukic latches on to the ball before firing home.
GOALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! MANDZUKIC FIRES HOME!!!! 2-1!!!! Croatia take the lead as England fall asleep at the back. A simple header allows Mandzukick to drift in behind Stones before he slots his strike beyond the reach of Pickford. Croatia are closing in on a place in the final.
CHANCE! England fall asleep from the corner and Brozovic latches on to the pass from Modric. However, the midfielder blasts his effort over the bar.
Strinic wins a corner off the legs of Walker. Croatia have a set-piece in a threatening position.
We're back underway in Moscow.
Both team are tiring as we enter the closing stages of game. There's 15 minutes left before penalties. Can anyone find a winner?
Croatia take too much time from the resulting corner and the referee blows as Strinic attempts to deliver.
WHAT A SAVE! Pickford denies Mandzukic. Perisic sends a dream of a pass into the feet of Mandzukic in the box. He expects to tap the ball past Pickford into the net, but the keeper is alert to the danger and spreads himself to make the vital block.
Kramaric meets a cutback from Perisic on the left flank, but he is denied by a vital block from Stones.
Kane wastes a good opportunity for England on the break as he overhits his pass out for a throw-in. He's been underwhelming in the contest.
England are tentative in the final third and are not finding the space they were in the opening 45 minutes of the contest.
Modric wastes a decent position for Croatia as he gives the ball away. However, he atones by making a crucial challenge on Rashford.
Kramaric replaces Rebic for Croatia in attack.
Rashford slides in hard on Vrsaljko, who goes down with ease on the right flank. He wins Croatia a free-kick in a decent position.
OFF THE LINE! Stones rises highest in the box to head at goal from Trippier's cross into the box, but Vrsaljko is in the right place at the right time to head away from danger. A crucial header from the Croatia full-back.
Rose makes a surge into the box and cuts the ball back for Dier to strike. His effort is blocked by Brozovic and floats over the bar.
Dier replaces the tiring Henderson for England in the midfield.
Trippier floats the ball into the box for the run of Maguire, but the referee awards a free-kick to Croatia for a foul against Mandzukic.
Rebic brings down Rose on the charge and he goes into the book.
Pivaric replaces Strinic at left-back for Croatia.
Alli looks for space on the edge of the box, but his offload into the path of Lingard goes astray.
Rashford makes a good run down the right, but his progress is stymied by Strinic.
We're back underway in Moscow.
Rose replaces Young for the Three Lions.
England were poor in the second half as they failed to combat Croatia's pressure. It built before Perisic found the equaliser to dent their hopes. Marcus Rashford made a slight impact off the bench, but Gareth Southgate will be mulling his options.
The match goes to extra-time. For the third time on the bounce in the knockout round Croatia head into additonal periods. They did it against Denmark and Russia can they do it again against England? Ivan Perisic cancelled out Kieran Trippier's strike with a fine effort in the second half. He could have put his side ahead, but was denied by the post. Croatia were on top towards the end of the match, but their energy levels could be key at this stage.
WIDE! Trippier whips the ball into the box from the free-kick, but Kane glances his header wide of the post. It was a half-chance as he pulled into space.
Rashford wins a free-kick for England on the right flank as Rakitic sends him tumbling to the ground. Trippier will delivery from the right flank.
Substitution Ashley Young Danny Rose
There will be three minutes of added time.
Lovren loses his patience at the back from a Croatia attacking move as he goes the blockbuster from distance. However, he blasts his effort well over the bar.
Lingard chases a ball into the corner with Strinic, but the Croatia full-back gets the decision for the free-kick.
Kane sends an incisive pass towards Lingard in the final third, but his pass just evades the run of the Manchester United man in the box.
Croatia are a step ahead of England everywhere on the pitch at the moment. Dalic will be urging his men forward for the killer blow.
SAVE! Mandzukic drifts into space in the right inside channel to latch on to Brozovic's ball over the top. He goes for the blast at goal, only to be denied by a sharp save from Pickford.
Trippier struggles to deal with a pass back to him in his own half, but England manage to play their way out of their own half.
OVER! England counter punch as Rashford finds space on the left flank. He wriggles through a couple of challenges before teeing up Kane. The England captain finds Henderson, who opts against the strike. His pass into Lingard is deflected back to him and he goes for the volley, only to smash it over the bar.
Lingard peels into the right inside channel and goes for the low ball across the face of goal, but Kane and Alli are nowhere to be seen in the penalty area.
Vrsaljko has the freedom of the right flank and he is beginning to torment England with his deliveries into the box.
Sterling is withdrawn for Rashford to provide impetus.
Croatia are finding acres of space almost everywhere in the final third. England are on the ropes here and may have to alter their system.
OFF THE POST!! Perisic comes within inches of putting his side ahead. England are all over the place at the back as Stones fails to clear a dangerous ball forward. Perisic pulls the trigger on a left-footed strike, only to be denied by the post.
GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! PERISIC EQUALISES FOR CROATIA!!!!! 1-1!!!! Perisic gets in front of Walker at the cross and he guides his strike beyond the reach of Pickford into the bottom corner. Vrsaljko was afforded space and time on the right flank and he whipped the ball into the box. Perisic made a late run before he stuck his foot out ahead of Walker to steer his effort into bottom corner.
Vrsaljko has space on the right flank and he whips a dangerous cross into the box that is guided beyond the reach of Pickford by Perisic.
Kane breaks into the right inside channel to latch on to Trippier's offload, but he blasts his strike into the side-netting.
Kane is able to ease the pressure on his team by winning a free-kick from Vrsaljko's challenge. Croatia are in the game now.
BLOCK! England are reeling at the back as Modric whips a cross into the box. It's cleared as far as Perisic on the edge and he goes for the blast. His effort looks to be heading towards the net, only for Walker to put his body on the line for the Three Lions to make the block.
Henderson releases Sterling in the final third and he tries to beat the challenge of Vida. He goes down under pressure from the defender's challenge. However, the referee waves play on.
Henderson slides a pass behind the Croatia backline for Lingard's run. Although he does not reach the ball, Vida puts the ball out for throw-in.
Croatia have found life in the second period, but need to improve their clinical edge in the final third.
Pickford comes off his line to punch clear from the resulting corner. Sterling then wins a free-kick to ease the pressure on the England backline.
Walker slices a clearance behind for a corner for Croatia. Dalic's men have upped the since the start of the second half.
Trippier is played down the right flank and he goes for the first-time cross into the box. Kane makes an attempt to go for a diving header, but Lovren is there with the covering challenge. He had to make that interception.
OVER! Kane knocks the ball back to Sterling, who tees up Lingard for a strike. Vida makes the block to divert the ball over the bar. However, England have a corner on the right flank.
Walker has to provide a covering challenge once again down the left flank. He stops Croatia taking a quick throw-in and goes into the book.
Kane is brought down on the left flank by Vrsaljko, but the referee waves play on. Cakir has a let a few things go this evening.
Walker has to cover ground on the right flank to stop Rebic's run and the ball goes out for a throw-in.
Walker does well under pressure at the back to cope with Rebic's run over the top. The England man shields the ball out of play.
Strinic is loose with his offload down the left flank and he gives away possession clumsily to the Three Lions.
Mandzukic catches Walker with an loose arm and goes into the book.
Maguire misses an intervention in the box and it takes a sharp clearance and a brave header from Trippier to clear England's lines.
We're back underway in Moscow.
Croatia have been open at the back in the first period, which has played into England's hands. Due to being behind in the contest they need to come out on the front foot in the second half to at least apply pressure. England have been ropey when teams have put them under the cosh at the back. Zlatko Dalic's men need a response in the second half, especially from Mario Mandzukic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
England hold a 1-0 lead at the break over Croatia in this World Cup semi-final in Moscow thanks to Kieran Trippier's early strike. Trippier handed the Three Lions a dream start to the contest when he curled his free-kick into the top corner in the fifth minute. They have had chances to extend their advantage as Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard missed opportunities. At the other end Ante Rebic had a couple of moments, but Croatia have not looked a threat other brief flirtations around the box.
England fend off Modric's two attempts to send the ball into the box before Henderson and Alli get the ball away from danger.
Trippier blocks off the run of Strinic and hands Croatia a free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
England lose their composure at the back and Rakitic almost punishes the Three Lions. However, Walker manages to get back to make the covering challenge.
OVER! Vrsaljko loses patience on a Croatia attack as he lines up a strike from distance from 35 yards, blasting his effort well over the bar.
England are just managing to dictate the battle in the middle of the park. Their midfield is getting the better of Rakitic and Modric thus far.
Rebic loses the ball and then fouls Young on the left flank. It gives England a bit of breathing space amid of period of Croatia pressure.
Vrsaljko has been a decent outlet down the right flank, although he has not managed to send a threatening cross into the box as of yet.
Sterling looks for a path to goal, only to turn ino a crowded area of the box. Trippier collects on the right flank, but he overhits his cross out of play for a throw-in.
WIDE! England break on the counter and Kane offloads to Alli on the left flank. He manages to squeeze a pass back to Lingard on the edge of the box. He goes to place his effort, only to sidefoot the ball wide of the post.
Perisic angles a dangerous cross towards the back post, looking for the run of Rebic. However, Young defends well, sending the ball out for a corner on the slide.
SAVE! Croatia provide pressure down the right flank as Rebic sends a dangerous delivery into the box. Stones makes a fine clearance, only to send it back to Rebic. He goes for the strike, but Pickford is there to make the save.
CHANCE! Kane has an excellent chance to double England's advantage, only to be denied by Subasic. He goes for the follow-up from a tight angle, but he smashes his effort off the post. If England wanted that chance to fall to one man - it was Kane.
Young curls the resulting free-kick into the box, but Subasic senses the danger to his backline and comes off his line to make the claim.
Lovren chops down Sterling on the charge on the left flank. The defender has to be careful as he has made two challenges in the opening 26 minutes.
Lingard makes a charge into the final third and searches for the offload to Alli. However, he just fails to find his team-mate on the left flank.
WIDE! Perisic once again charges through the middle of the park and goes for the strike, but on this occasion his effort travels well wide of the post.
Subasic makes an error at the back, misplacing his offload out to Vida. He places the ball straight to Sterling, who offloads to Kane in an offside position.
BLOCK! Rebic fends off the challenge of Young with ease and surges towards the edge of the box with ease. He goes for power with his strike, but Stones is there to make the covering block.
WIDE! Perisic is afforded space and time to cut in from the right flank. He drives at goal on his right foot, sending his strike narrowly past the post. The ball took a slight deflection off Walker, but the referee points for a goal-kick.
Rakitic searches for Vrsaljko down the right flank, only to overhit his delivery out of play for a throw-in.
Henderson scoops a hopeful ball over the top of the Croatia backline for Sterling's run, but Subasic is able to gather with ease on the charge.
Kane buys his side a free-kick on the left flank courtesy of a clumsy challenge from Vrsaljko. England are doing all of the pressing at the moment.
WIDE! Trippier floats the ball into the box and Maguire rises to head at goal. He makes decent contact with his header, sending his effort narrowly past the post.
England pressure down the left before Alli spreads the ball to the right flank with Trippier. Perisic has to get back to defend the cross, diverting the ball out for a corner.
Mandzukic goes down in the box to win a free-kick for his side, although Maguire headed his effort over the bar from Young's delivery.
Brozovic concedes a corner in a challenge with Alli. England send their men forward from the back.
It's a very open contest in Moscow with both team thriving in the space thus far.
England manage to clear their lines from the corner and almost break through Sterling, although there are enough black shirts there to cope with the danger.
Strinic sends a cross to the back post looking for the run of Vrsaljko at the back post. Young gets there ahead of the Croatia man, only to concede a corner in the process.
Henderson searches for a pass beyond the Croatia backline looking for the run of Sterling, but Subasic is alert to come off his line to gather.
GOALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! TRIPPIER SCORES A STUNNER!!! ENGLAND 1-0!!!! Trippier converts from the free-kick to hand England a dream start to the contest. The full-back lined up his effort from 20 yards and curled his strike over the wall. Subasic attempted to get across, but the strike was well placed to travel beyond the keeper into the top corner. A super strike to hand the Three Lions the lead.
Alli is tripped on the edge of the box by Modric after a neat piece of control by Lingard. The referee awards England a free-kick in striking distance.
Pickford tries to pick out Young on the left flank, but his delivery sails over the head of the wing-back and that of Vrsaljko to travel out for a throw-in.
Lingard leaves one on Rakitic on the edge of the Croatia box. He receives the first talking to of the contest by referee Ceneyt Cakir.
Henderson fouls Modric in the opening minute of the game, handing Croatia a free-kick just inside their own half.
We're underway in Moscow.
The anthems are over, it's time for the action to commence.
Here we go. The players are out on the pitch.
England are unchanged from their win over Sweden, with Henderson overcoming a slight niggle that bothered him after the quarter-final. Sterling keeps his place leading the line alongside Kane, with Rashford once again settling for a place on the bench.
Croatia have made one change to their side that defeated Russia in the quarter-finals. Kramaric drops out of the side and is replaced by Brozovic, who will sit in front of the back four to provide protection to Vida and Lovren in the middle of the backline.
England subs: Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jamie Vardy, Jack Butland, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nick Pope.
ENGLAND (3-4-1-2): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.
Croatia subs: Dominik Livakovic, Vedran Corluka, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Lovre Kalinic, Tin Jedvaj, Filip Bradaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Milan Badelj, Marko Pjaca, Josip Pivaric.
CROATIA (4-1-4-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Marcelo Brozovic; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic.
The team news has been announced and we'll start with Croatia.
England have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Their path in the knockout stage was almost as tricky as Croatia's, needing penalties to see off Colombia. Yerry Mina's late goal sent the contest all the way to spot-kicks, but for once the Three Lions prevailed as Eric Dier converted. Their win saw Gareth Southgate's men faced with Sweden in the quarter-finals, although on this occasion England managed to pull off a routine 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli. Southgate will be dreaming of a similar performance this evening.
Croatia have not used the easy path to get to the semi-finals. They were forced to battle through on penalties twice in their wins in the knockout round. Denmark took them all the way after both sides cancelled each other out, but Ivan Rakitic held his composure from 12 yards to send his team through to the quarter-finals. Russia proved to be just as stubborn in the last eight as the contest swung one way then the other. However, Rakitic again was the decisive factor to send his team through to the semis with his spot-kick.
The eyes of the footballing world fall upon the Luzhniki Stadium this evening as Croatia and England face off for a spot to play France in the World Cup final.
Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England in Russia.

Croatia 2 England 1 (aet): Mandzukic strike sets up World Cup final with France


Croatia 2 England 1 (aet): Mandzukic strike sets up World Cup final with France

Omnisport 7/11/2018 Ryan Benson

Mario Mandzukic's extra-time strike completed an impressive turnaround as Croatia beat England 2-1 in Moscow to reach the World Cup final for the first time in their history.

England made an electric start with Kieran Trippier's early goal and for a large period of the game looked good value to book their passage to the final for the first time since 1966, but Croatia somehow battled through their apparent jadedness to tame the Three Lions, Mandzukic landing the decisive blow.

Gareth Southgate consistently downplayed the euphoria in his team in the build-up, and for a while England gave every indication they were going to take charge of their own destiny, as Trippier found the net with a delightful free-kick in the fifth minute.

But Croatia rallied and gave England's back three more of an examination upon the start of the second period, eventually restoring parity – Ivan Perisic providing a clever finish in the 68th minute.

England managed to hang on to force an extra 30 minutes and initially looked the more threatening of the two teams once again in the first additional period.

But Croatia kept their focus and Mandzukic struck in the 109th minute, ending England's dreams for another four years and setting up a final with France, as Zlatko Dalic's men move another step closer to a first World Cup title.

Mario Mandzukic in a match: Croatia stars Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic © Provided by Getty Images Croatia stars Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic

England's start was emphatic, as they swiftly put Croatia on the back foot through a driving Dele Alli run, which Luka Modric had to stop on the edge of the area by fouling the Tottenham star.

And from the resulting free-kick, Alli's Spurs team-mate Trippier sumptuously found the top-right corner.

Croatia did their confidence little good in the 22nd minute when Danijel Subasic's poor kick went straight to Raheem Sterling, who found Harry Kane, but he ultimately shot wide after straying offside.

There was promise for England again soon afterwards, though Kane struck the post from close range and was adjudged – seemingly incorrectly – to be offside following Alli's incisive pass.

Although they saw more of the ball, Dalic's side initially struggled to offer a significant improvement after half-time and England had a penalty shout turned down just after the hour – Domagoj Vida getting a slight touch on the ball before sending Sterling tumbling.

Finally things came together for Croatia at the other end soon after, as Perisic met Sime Vrsaljko's deep cross with a flying left-footed finish.

And they nearly went ahead with their next attack – Perisic slamming against the right-hand post before Ante Rebic put the rebound into Jordan Pickford's hands.

A late Croatia onslaught was unable to complete the turnaround in 90 minutes and England stepped things up again in extra-time, almost retaking the lead when John Stones had a header cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 98th minute.

Pickford was similarly heroic at the other end, denying Mandzukic at point-blank range after the striker met Perisic's cross.

But Mandzukic came out on top soon after the break, latching on to Perisic's headed pass and sending a left-footed effort across Pickford to find the bottom-right corner, securing Croatia a return to the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday for the final.


Key Opta stats:

- England have now been eliminated in four of their five semi-finals at major tournaments, losing each of the last four in a row.

- Croatia have qualified for their first ever World Cup final in their fifth appearance at the World Cup finals.

- Ivan Perisic has been involved in 10 goals at major tournaments for Croatia (six goals, four assists), the joint-most, level with Davor Suker (nine goals, one assist).

- Kieran Trippier’s goal after four minutes and 44 seconds was the fastest goal scored in a World Cup semi-final since 1958.

- Croatia became the first team to play extra-time in three consecutive World Cup matches since England in 1990.

- England scored nine goals from set pieces at the 2018 World Cup – the most by a team in a single World Cup tournament since 1966.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon