England’s World Cup journey has been ended by Croatia at the semi-final stage.
Gareth Southgate’s side suffered heartbreak in Moscow after goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner ended their hopes of competing in their first World Cup Final for 52 years.
Kieran Trippier had opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a free-kick from distance.
Having progressed to the semi-finals for the first time since Italia ’90, and amidst the growing sense of euphoria, England fans were starting to believe that football was finally coming home.
But once again, just as Southgate himself felt as a player at Euro ’96, the Three Lions bow out at the final four.
Zlatko Dalic and his Croatia side will now face France in Sunday’s final, back at the Luzhniki Stadium.
It offers Croatia a chance to avenge their semi-final defeat of 1998, where two goals from Lilian Thuram saw the French fightback from Davor Suker’s opener to reach the final.
France would go on to win the final with a 3-0 victory Brazil in front of a capacity crowd in Paris.