ENGLAND suffered World Cup heartache as Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal saw them crash to defeat to Croatia.
The Three Lions have fallen short in their run for World Cup glory after they came up just short on a heart-breaking night in Moscow.
England stamped their authority on this semi-final after just five minutes with Trippier’s goal sending fans wild.
Dele Alli’s surging run in the fourth minute started the move as he was brought down by Luka Modric 25 yards from goal.
Tripps had plenty of the goal to aim for and his free-kick was perfect, curling into the top corner to give Danijel Subasic no chance.
And Gareth Southgate’s lads should have added more as Croatia initially looked tired after BOTH of their knockout matches went the full distance to penalties.
Harry Kane could have added to his tournament tally when he got played through by Jesse Lingard – but his effort was saved and he smacked the post with the follow-up.
Southgate’s defence was inevitably going to be tested as Croatia looked to stay alive – but Kyle Walker bravely blocked when Perisic’s drive hit him straight between the legs.
England were literally putting their balls on the line to reach Sunday’s final back here at the Luzhniki Stadium.
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But Perisic had Croatia on level terms with a flying volley from Sime Vrsaljko’s cross, even though his foot looked dangerously close to Walker’s head when he flicked home.
With a spring back in Croatia’s step, Perisic hit the post after England failed to clear their lines.
And England looked rattled as Croatia continued to push forward sensing the opportunity to snatch a late winner.
England settled better in extra-time, having regrouped with a word of advice from Southgate.
And they came within a whisker of restoring their lead as John Stones climbed high to meet a Trippier corner and power his header to the far corner.
But this time, unlike in the Group stages against Panama, Vrsaljko was on hand to head the ball off the line.
Croatia, though, looked threatening every time they moved forward and only a brilliant stop from Pickford denied Mandzukic from close range.
But the nightmare scenario arrived three minutes into the second period of extra time when Croatia took the lead.
England failed to clear their lines, and Mandzukic nipped in behind Stones to fire low past the exposed Pickford into the far corner.
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