Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press: Croatia's Mario Mandzukic scores the winning goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the World Cup in Moscow on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Croatia beats England 2-1 in extra time to reach World Cup final

RONALD BLUM | Associated Press

MOSCOW -- When the final whistle blew and they knew they were going to their first World Cup final, the Croatians ran to their exuberant fans, jumping in their iconic red-and-white checkered jerseys.

Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute and Croatia shocked England 2-1 Wednesday.

Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent country in 1991.

France, which won its only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday. Croatia will be coming off its third straight extra-time match.

Defender Sime Vrsaljko kept the score even by heading a shot off the goal line about 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored.

Kevin Trippier curled in a free kick for England in the fifth minute. Ivan Perisic tied the score in the 68th minute.

But football will not be coming home, and there will be no title to match the 1966 triumph at Wembley Stadium. Harry Kane & Co. will deal with the same disappointment that felled Shearer and Platt, Gazza and Wazza, Beckham and Gerrard.

For more on this story, visit www.journalgazette.net later today or see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette.