World Cup: Croatia Beats England To Advance To Final


LAGOS JULY 12TH (NEWSRANGERS)-In the beginning, it was quintessential England. In the end, it was quintessential Mario Mandzukic; it is the end of England’s magical World Cup run; and it is the continuation of Croatia’s.
Croatia, a country of just over 4 million people, advanced to its first-ever World Cup final with a dramatic 2-1 extra-time victory over the English on Wednesday. Mandzukic’s predatory 109th-minute goal booked a date with France in Sunday’s final:
England had gone ahead early, but lost control of the match in the second half. It then lost it in the 30 added minutes, when it theoretically should have been superior.
Croatia, after all, had played 330 minutes of soccer over the past 11 days when the teams trudged off the field in Moscow to prepare for extra time. It had looked gassed four days earlier after 120 minutes against Russia. On Wednesday, it became the second team in World Cup history to play three consecutive games of more than 90 minutes.
But somehow, the Croats kept going. Kept battling. Kept pushing themselves to and past their limits. Luka Modric was relentless. Ivan Perisic was ruthless. Mandzukic was brave and valiant, then heroic.
And as a result, Croatia is the first team in World Cup history to win three consecutive games of more than 90 minutes. It also became the second-smallest nation to ever make the World Cup final. And based on its second-half performance, it deserved every bit of the most famous win in its brief history.

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