Football is not coming home but England is going home, knocked out of the FIFA World Cup™ in extra-time by a brilliant Croatia.
It means the Balkan nation will now contest it’s first ever FIFA World Cup™ final set to be played out on Monday morning (AEST).
England led the match after opening the scoring in just the fifth minute. It was their ninth set-piece goal of the tournament, Kieran Trippier sinking it from a free kick just outside the area.
Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane had good chances to double England’s advantage in the first half but were unable to do so, which would prove costly.
Croatia came into their own as the second half wore on and looked dangerous. They had the reward for their efforts in the 68th minute when Ivan Perišić got in front of two England defenders and buried home an equaliser.
The game went to extra-time, Croatia’s third 120-minute exertion in as many matches, and when Mario Mandžukić reacted fastest to a loose ball inside the area in the 109th minute he secured the biggest win in Croatian football history.
It’s a maiden FIFA World Cup™ final appearance for Croatia, who will play France for a shot at taking home the biggest prize in football.
France v Croatia, Monday 16th July, 1am (AEST), Luzhniki Stadium