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Croatia beat England to reach first World Cup final

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-12 04:59
Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia on July 11 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo/VCG)

MOSCOW -- Mario Mandzukic struck a dramatic extra-time goal as Croatia secured a place in their first World Cup final with 2-1 victory over England here on Wednesday.

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia scores a goal to make it 2-1. (Photo/VCG)

The Juventus forward prompted jubilant scenes in the Croatia camp by ghosting in behind England's defense and lashing a first-time shot past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

England had taken an early lead courtesy of a Kieran Trippier free-kick before Ivan Perisic showed great athleticism to fire in a second-half equalizer.

Croatia will now meet France in the final on Sunday and they are already guaranteed their best ever World Cup finish, bettering their third placing in 1998.

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