Croatia stuns England in extra time to reach first World Cup final

The rubber chicken went down well with the players

The rubber chicken went down well with the players

England captain Harry Kane could not hide his desperate disappointment after his side's 2-1 extra-time defeat against Croatia in the semi-finals of the Fifa World Cup in Moscow on Wednesday.

Croatia emerged for the second half stronger and equalised on 68 minutes when Ivan Perisic got ahead of Kyle Walker to flick home a finish on the volley.

For 45 minutes social media was awash with English positivity, then came the nerves and then, unfortunately, came the anguish as Gareth Southgate's side were beaten in extra-time by Croatia for a place in the World Cup final.

Trippier, Walker and Pickford put England hearts in mouths with a risky exchange at the back and Mandzukic's shot was well saved.

"We have shown that we can win knock-out games and get to semi-finals, so now we have to try and go one step further. But we have nothing to lose, we will enjoy this game, and hopefully we can write history", said defender Dejan Lovren, of Premier League side Liverpool.

Police estimated as many as 10,000 England fans were in the Russian capital for the game.

While familiar faces in the world of football shared their immediate thoughts, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton declared himself "inspired" by the team's effort.

Another alternative to watch the Croatia vs England World Cup game online without cable is via Hulu Live TV with complete World Cup coverage.

Trippier's free-kick was not only his maiden England goal but was his first goal of any kind since he scored for Tottenham against Watford on February 6, 2016 - 886 days ago.

It was their 12th goal of the tournament and ninth from a set-piece, but they should have added more from open play as they reveled in the space they were being given and looked completely in command.

Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic when through, then forced the rebound against a post and Raheem Sterling was a constant thorn in the Croatia defence, though again his final ball was too often astray. Luka Modric, who looked exhausted for much of the game, still ended up as the conductor for Croatia. Perisic was mightily unlucky not to add to his tally when his angled shot beat Pickford but cannoned off the post. Lingard failed to connect with a Kane through ball in 78th, Kane miss-hit a header off a free kick in stoppage time, and Stones' header from a corner was cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 99th.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored the victor in the 109th minute, sweeping home a left-foot shot after England had allowed him too much space in the penalty box.

"This is a miracle".

Fans serenaded their players with Oasis" "Don't Look Back In Anger', an appropriate sendoff for an England team that exceeded expectations in Russian Federation.

The team's rare success at a major tournament has captured the nation's attention, but Southgate says - regardless of how far England go - that his life will remain the same. "There's a lot we could have done better".

"When you have spells, you have to make them count; we probably needed that second goal", he said. It's down to what we do behind the scenes, what we work on in training, all the hard work to get here.

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