Belfast Telegraph

England's World Cup dream is OVER as Croatia earn semi-final victory in extra-time

Croatia 2-1 England AET

By Gareth Hanna

England's World Cup dream was brought to a heart-breaking end with a 2-1 extra-time defeat to Croatia on Wednesday evening.

Gareth Southgate's side dominated the first half and Kieran Tripper earned a 1-0 advantage before a resurgent Croatia came back to seal an extra-time victory care of Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic.

England will now play Belgium in the third-place play-off on Saturday (kick-off 3pm BST) while Croatia will face France in Sunday's final (kick-off 4pm BST).

Trippier put England 1-0 ahead inside five minutes with a top drawer free-kick that curled its way into the top corner and past a helpless Subasic in the Croatian goal.

England dominated the first-half but Harry Kane saw a one-on-one saved and struck the post with the rebound before Jesse Lingard put a good chance wide from the edge of the area.

Croatia improved in the second half and as they pushed increasingly forward, got their reward with a 69th minute leveller from the impressive Perisic, flicking home a right wing cross.

Zlatko Dalić's men continued to press forward in extra-time and took the lead when a partly-cleared cross was headed back into the danger area for Mandzukic to react first and tuck the winner into the bottom corner.

Here's the match as it happened:

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