Mandzukic sends Croatia to first World Cup final

Mandzukic sends Croatia to first World Cup final

"Of course it´s going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to get everyone mentally back to where we want them for a game like that".

"We gave it everything, I know we're gonna look back and say we could have done this and what but at the end of the day it was small margins in a big game and it didn't go our way today", said striker Kane, now the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer.

"There's always talk that this isn't England that skips the game - but it's obvious that as soon as we started to play, they started to boot the ball".

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a awful penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team.

Germany are 5/1 (6.0) to bounce back from a shock World Cup exit by returning to winnings ways.

With beers flying, and the national anthem, amongst other patriotic songs, being sung, there was a genuine belief that England might make their first World Cup final since 1966.

Vrsaljko, who plays for Atletico Madrid, had struggled to be ready for the match after playing in two previous extra-time matches, but he found the strength to lift his exhausted, battered team to a comeback win.

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Suddenly the massed ranks of red-and-white-clad Croatia fans behind Pickford's goal started to believe and shortly afterwards Perisic hit the post but England somehow clung on to take the game into extra-time. "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

The game went to extra time after neither side could find a victor in normal time, where Croatia continued their dominance. If Croatia played good football they might just get that.

France, which won its only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday.

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares.

There are plenty of big names ahead of England in the betting though, albeit many of them failed to produce this summer with one notable exception.

It also meant that England, for all their controlling play and short passes in midfield, had the option of whipping the ball into the corners for Sterling to chase after.

Croatia were always considered dark horses for the World Cup, and they lived up to that tag by reaching the final in Russian Federation.

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