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As it happenedended1531347309

England out of the World Cup after extra-time defeat to Croatia - as it happened

Follow all the reaction from the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup

Molly Hudson
Wednesday 11 July 2018 23:13 BST
England fans sing after losing in World Cup semi-final to Croatia

England's World Cup dream has come to an end after the side were beaten 2-1 after extra-time by Croatia.

The Three Lions pulled ahead after just five minutes through Kieran Trippier's sublime free-kick and for the following 62 minutes it was England who looked set for a place in the final.

But Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia to take the game to extra-time before Mario Mandzukic struck in the 109th minute to put Zlatko Dalic's men in front.

England pushed on but were ultimately unable to find an equaliser. They now face Belgium in Saturday's third-place decider while Croatia go through to the final where they meet France.

Here's how it happened:

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's blockbuster World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia, brought to you from the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

With the game due to kick-off at 19:00 BST, we'll bring you all the build-up and latest news from Russia from midday as we look ahead to one of the biggest games in English football history.

In the meantime, find out all the important details you need for the match below.

Jack de Menezes11 July 2018 08:55

Waistcoat Wednesday

There's a rather odd fashion trend sweeping England at the moment, inspired by Gareth Southgate of all people. Waistcoat Wednesday is taking place at the moment and people across the country are arriving at work sporting Southgate's trademark attire. 

"I'm no David Beckham," the England manager told the BBC. "I'm slightly concerned, because as a centre-half who took a lot of knocks to the head I'm not normally synonymous with being a fashion icon."

Here's a look at some of the best attempts of people mimicking Southgate's signature look.

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:11

This one's for you

Jonathan Liew explains how tonight's semi-final, England's first for 28 years, is for you.

"It’s for St Etienne and Shizuoka, Bloemfontein and Manaus. It’s for Muller and Maradona, Bergkamp and Brolin, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, Suarez and Sigthorsson. It’s San Marino in eight seconds, it’s McClaren under his umbrella, it’s Harry Kane taking corners, it’s Lampard’s goal bouncing over the line, it’s Pirlo doing the Panenka, it’s Beckham’s metatarsal, it’s Rooney on a stretcher, it’s nice to see your own fans booing you."

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:14

Making plans to watch the match? Try top this.

English golfer Justin Rose has a plan to make sure he can watch England's World Cup semi-final this evening, although catching Sunday's final could prove more of an issue.

Rose is competing in the Scottish Open at Gullane this week and tees off at 1:30pm in the traditional pre-tournament pro-am.

These events can be long affairs but the 2016 Olympic champion will take a ruthless approach to make sure he is watching at 7pm.

"My playing partners better pick up if they are having a tough hole, because I'm walking off the course at 6:30, however many holes we play," Rose joked.

"I'll watch it where I'm staying tonight with my family. My little boy, who is nine, is really, really, really into it. My joy for this World Cup is watching him suffer through it like we've all done for years.

"Obviously it's been fun to watch England make a good run through. If you had said a month ago, right, Croatia in the semis, you get a crack at France; 90 minutes are like 18 holes in match play, anyone can win."

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:20

Prince Harry gives his prediction

Prince Harry confidently predicted that England will be lifting the World Cup on Sunday. He was asked if football is coming home during a visit to the Irish President in Dublin, and said: "Three Lions, most definitely. 

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:26

  ↵Regardless of what happens, Southgate and England are already history makers

Miguel Delaney looks at how this England side have already turned around the horrors of the past and are carving out a bright future.  

"The regular calamities that have afflicted England for two decades have been blown away by competence, by composure, by intelligence - by rigour."

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:36

The key battles

There's fascinating clashes all over the pitch and we've picked out for particularly interesting one's to keep an eye on.

SPOILER: It features Luka Modric

Jack Watson11 July 2018 12:40

Southgate assess his opposition

Gareth Southagate acknowledges that Croatia are England's toughest opponent so far and identifies the midfield as being where the game will be won or lost. 

"They of course have a very strong midfield so, (it is about) denying them space and making sure awareness of distances and coverage of the pitch is correct and (knowing) the right moments to press. The higher the level of opponent, if you press in a disorganised fashion, then you will get picked through and we have got to be conscious of that," Southgate said.

"I think Raheem has been fundamental to the way that we have played, his movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free kicks and corners, his speed to stretch teams.

"He was a constant threat to Sweden, of course he hasn't scored the goals he would have liked to have scored but for myself and the players he has been a crucial part of the way that we have been playing," he said.

Jack Watson11 July 2018 13:13

The man in the middle

This evening's referee Cuneyt Cakir is no stranger to big occasions, or controversy. His most famous moment in the spotlight was his decision to send of Nani in what was Sir Alex Ferguson's last Champions League game.

Jack Watson11 July 2018 13:18

Sterling is 'incredible'

“I think, first of all, the way Raheem has handled everything throughout this process, from when we met up until now, has been incredible,” said Eric Dier. 

Raheem Sterling has attracted criticism from the depths of the internet for his poor finishing at the World Cup. Sterling's last international goal was in September 2015, but the Manchester City and England star has been really impressive with his movement and his support for his teammates. 

Jack Watson11 July 2018 13:25

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