Once again Croatia found itself in extra time. This time, they didn’t need penalty kicks. Mario Mandzukic scored in extra time to send his side to its first World Cup ever, beating England 2-1, setting themselves with a historic meeting against France.
July 15, Moscow: France vs Croatia
Croatia 1 England 2 (Match Highlights)
It’s not coming home. It might be coming to Zagreb. England couldn’t hold on to an early lead off a brilliant Kevin Trippier free kick, losing grip of a match they had in their hands during the first half.
First it was Ivan Perisic in the 68th minute that made it level with a controversial goal, nearly beheading Kyle Walker in the process of scoring. England had their opportunities in the first hour, mainly Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard. Their lack of initiative as the match went on called to be punished and Croatia, finally finding a solution to the physicality and tactics of England, made a young England side pay for its lethargy.
Mandzukic had a poor World Cup, until the 109th minute of the match, four minutes into the second half of extra time. Just like Perisic earlier, he slipped past a defense that has been terrific in this tournament, beating Jordan Pickford, who was far too involved in this match, with his defense happy to pass it back to him again and again.
Croatia, like France, have not been wire-to-wire brilliant in this tournament, but have dominated each match they’ve played in, and were labeled as the favorites on their side of the draw once the knockout stage begins. 20 years after losing to France in their first and only World Cup semifinal, Croatia have a chance to set things right.
6 goals: Harry Kane (England)
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Denis Cheryshev (Russia)
3 goals: Artem Dzyuba (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain), Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann (France), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Yerry Mina (Colombia)
2 goals: Mile Jedinak (Australia), Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Philippe Coutinho, Neymar (Brazil), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Eden Hazard (Belgium), John Stones (England), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Son Heung-Min (South Korea), Andreas Granqvist (Sweden), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Takashi Inui (Japan)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez (Uruguay), Nacho, Isco, Iago Aspas (Spain), Paul Pogba, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti (France), Lionel Messi, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Gabriel Mercado (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Christian Eriksen,Yussuf Poulsen, Mathias Jorgensen (Denmark), Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Chicharito (México), Paulinho, Thiago Silva, Roberto Firmino, Renato Augusto (Brazil), Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Josip Drmic (Switzerland), Ola Toivonen, Ludwig Augustinsson, Emil Forsberg (Sweden), Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi, Adnan Januzaj, Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini, Nacer Chadli, Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi, Dylan Bronn, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef(Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka, Keisuke Honda, Genki Haraguchi (Japan), Juan Quintero, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane, Moussa Wague (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jan Bednarek (Poland), Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic (Croatia), Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea), Marco Reus (Germany), Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Dele Alli, Kevin Trippier (England), Felipe Baloy (Panama), Salman Al Faraj, Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia), Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe (Portugal), Khalid Boutaib, Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco), Karim Ansarifard (Irán), Andre Carrillo, Paolo Guerrero (Peru), Victor Moses (Nigeria), Kendall Watson (Costa Rica)