It’s not coming home: Croatia beats England 2-1

MOSCOW (AP) – Jubilation at an early goal for England in the World Cup semifinal against Croatia turned to disappointment for supporters Wednesday when Croatia equalized and then scored a second goal in the 109th minute.

The result means Croatia is going to its first World Cup final.

Mario Mandzukic scored to give the Croats their 2-1 victory. About 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored, defender Sime Vrsaljko headed a shot on target off the goal line to keep the score tied.

Kieran Trippier had given England the lead by scoring from a free kick in the fifth minute. But Ivan Perisic equalized in the 68th after getting his foot to ball before England defender Kyle Walker could head it away.

England had been trying to reach its first World Cup final since winning its only title in 1966.

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 (at 10 a.m. Cayman time) in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation 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.


  1. Although Croatia declared independence in June 1991 (I was there when it happened) we need to remember that the subsequent fighting and it’s aftermath lasted for another decade so in reality they’ve had less that 20 years to bounce back and reach this position. I know which flag I’ll be flying on Sunday – Zastava Hrvatske!

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