Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

England's next match against Croatia will be played behind-closed-doors

England's next match against Croatia will be played behind-closed-doors

Click through the mini-gallery above to see pictures of Croatia's celebrations after they qualified for the World Cup final!

The country of around 4 million people came to a standstill as Croatians watched the game on screens in squares and cafes.

A huge crowd of fans who watched a television broadcast of the match unfurled a very big Croatian flag and lit numerous red flares as the party engulfed the city right after the final whistle. Croatia is the first team to win three straight extra-time matches in the World Cup.

"The Fiery Ones are in the final, the nation is in a trance - one more step to the title!" said the Jutarnji List, using the team's nickname.

From the moment Kieran Trippier put England ahead to Croatia's equaliser, Mario Mandzukic's victor and then the full-time whistle. "It's unlucky we couldn't bring it home for them, but hopefully there's time in the future".

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But it was Croatia who struck in the 109th minute when Perisic won a header on the edge of the box and the ball dropped for Mandzukic whose firm low finish beat Pickford.

But Croatia summoned the strength to come back in the second half, equalising through Ivan Perisic before Mario Mandzukic got the victor in the 109th minute. "They played well and made it difficult for us.it's hard to put your finger of it".

'It's coming home. Impossible, ' the youngster wrote.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored the victor in the 109th minute, sweeping home a left-foot shot after England had allowed him too much space in the penalty box.

Mandzukic's movement was also a constant challenge for England's back three and John Stones, in particular, did not look as composed as he has done in previous games.

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Ivan Perisic's goal destabilized England's set-up.

England arrived at this World Cup with the least experienced squad in terms of caps, but Southgate said the agony of losing was just as strong despite surpassing limited expectations.

"When you have spells, you have to make them count; we probably needed that second goal", he said. "Everybody has come. It's the best feeling in a long time".

"There was just a period in the second half, it looked like we had the lead and didn't want to give it away rather than we keep playing - and we just lost a bit of composure in that period".

"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", he said (via Sky Sports).

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