Recap: Mandzukic, Perisic fire Croatia to 2-1 victory and confirm final spot, leave England in third-place playoff

Yahoo Sport UK
Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, center, carries Luka Modric when celebrating after his team advanced to the final during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, center, carries Luka Modric when celebrating after his team advanced to the final during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Latest news

  • Kieran Trippier fired England into early lead, Perisic levelled for Croatia

  • Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to put Croatia ahead with just minutes remaining

  • England face Belgium in a third-place playoff on Saturday

  • Southgate:  “We were so close to what was almost unimaginable at the start”

  • Southgate: “We are where we are as a team. We’ve come an incredible way in a short space of time”

  • Kane: “For sure (a missed opportunity). We wanted to go on, we wanted to win it. We felt we were good enough, we’ve fallen just a bit short. It just hurts”

  • Slaven Bilic: “It’s good for all those smaller countries – if you dream, if you have character, the dreams are possible”

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  • Dimitri Kondonis

    SIGNING OFF: Thanks for joining us on Yahoo Sport for what didn't quite prove to be the dream semi-final we thought it may be.

    England set their sights on the biggest dream in world football, but fell agonisingly short.

    Make sure to read all the fallout and reaction below - and more so on Yahoo Sport throughout the night.

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    Southgate: "We were looking at how we might stem the tide, there weren't clear changes we thought could improve the situation.

    "I just felt there was a period of 20 minutes in the second half where we stopped playing and lost our composure.

    "It's very difficult, as we reflect over the next few days, there will of course be a lot more positives, but we were so close to what was almost unimaginable at the start.

    "I don't think over the 6 or 7 weeks we've been together, we could've given more."

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    Southgate added: "I think knockout football is fine margins - when you have fine spells in a game against a side with real quality you need to make them count.

    "No issues before the game (with Kane's fitness).

    "We are where we are as a team. We've come an incredible way in a short space of time. The experience of matches with Colombia, Sweden, is probably beyond where we thought we'd be able to go. Tonight, we weren't quite there. The team will be stronger for that."

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    Man of the moment Gareth Southgate has been speaking to ITV.

    The England manager said: "In the second half we lost our way a little bit. That experience of being ahead in a big game like this.

    "Great credit, in extra time we got some control back into the game, we showed some more composure.

    "The biggest thing is - you saw the supporters. I can't ask any more than what the players and staff have given."

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    Bilic added: "In the first half - we were in shock. It took a bit of composure, patience for us. In the second half, you were hoping we were going to get tired.

    "We kept the ball in midfield, dominated, you had to go back with five. In the first half they took every ball, slaughtering our back four.

    "In the second half. Harry Kane? Nothing. Sterling went off.

    "I'm not objective but we were starting to dominate the physical and tactical points."

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    BILIC: Former West Ham manager - and Croatian international - Slaven Bilic has been talking after his nation's superb victory.

    He said: "We are probably the smallest country that's going to play the World Cup final in modern times, 50 years. It's great for us.

    "It's also good for all those smaller countries - if you dream, if you have character, the dreams are possible."

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    AH: Well, here we are again.

    Somehow, after the scintillating victories, the anti-England performances, the comfortable knockout win...

    We end up back where we started

    England were superb in the opening half, and could have put Croatia to the sword. But somehow, history reared its ugly head and the Three Lions allowed their opponents back into the match.

  • Dimitri Kondonis

    GLORY AND HEARTBREAK:

 

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