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World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Croatia beat England

Sachin Bhat
Top 5 / Top 10
6.74K   //    12 Jul 2018, 10:17 IST

Croatia play France in the showpiece clash in Moscow on Sunday
Croatia play France in the showpiece clash in Moscow on Sunday

Croatia progressed to their first ever World Cup final after fighting back from a goal down to beat England 2-1.

Kevin Trippier put the Three Lions ahead after just 5 minutes with a superbly taken free-kick, but Croatia upped the ante after the break and found the leveler through Ivan Perisic. Then in extra-time, Mario Mandzukic deservedly netted the winner 5 minutes from time as Vatreni created history against all odds.

Yet more heartbreak for England, but there's plenty of optimism to draw from their campaign. However, it's Croatia's night and here's how they pulled it off.

#1 Croatia's attritional game wore England down

Croatia debilitated England with high pressing
Croatia debilitated England with high pressing

If the first-half had England written all over it, then the second stanza was all about Croatia. The Blazers returned from the break as the stronger side of the two and pushed forward in numbers.

Having passed rather sideways during the opening 45 minutes, Modric and co then cut through the lines with swift, slick passes that pinned England to the back foot. Croatia's surge was clearly getting on their nerves as it was only Jordan Pickford's brilliance that protected their lead.

But England's resolve was clearly wearing down and it was finally broken when Sime Vrsaljko laid in a cross from the right and Perisic beat Walker to the ball with his outstretched leg and equalised.

The goal simply buoyed them further as they then dominated possession and carved out a few more good chances to kill the game.

The winner may not have come until the second-half of extra-time, but Croatia's wave after wave of attack had clearly debilitated the Three Lions, who then had little to nothing left in the tank for the additional 30 minutes of play.

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Sachin Bhat
Football aficionado. Writing enthusiast. Aspiring journalist.
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