By 90Min
July 11, 2018

They're going home. After a heroic effort during 120 minutes of football, Gareth Southgate's England finally succumbed to Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday night. 

A momentary lapse in concentration from John Stones, gifted Mario Mandzukic his second - and most important - goal of the tournament to fire Croatia in their first ever FIFA World Cup final. 

And it all started so well for the Three Lions, as Kieran Trippier - arguably England's star of the tournament so far - channeled his inner David Beckham to curl the ball over the Croatian wall and into the back of the net in the fourth minute:

England continued pile on the offensive pressure after taking the early lead, looking to capitalise upon Dejan Lovren's ineptitude, and apparent ability to channel his inner Jean Alain Boumsong at will: 

At the end of the first half, Croatia finally started to find their way back into the game, controlling possession and finding their way into the offensive third with increasing frequency. However, Croatia's best efforts to grab an equaliser were seemingly all quelled by Harry Maguire, who channeled his inner...monster truck (?)...Marco Materazzi (?)...God(?)...to keep Zlatko Dalic's men at bay:

Croatia began the second half in the ascendancy, but largely failed to create anything substantial in the final third. 

Mario Mandzukic was forced to feed off scraps inside the penalty area as Ivan Strinic, Sime Vrsaljko, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic channeled their inner Aidan McGeady's, somehow managing to fail to clear the first man with 3,000 consecutive crosses:

Finally however, after 3,000 crosses, Croatia finally - FINALLY - curled a brilliant ball into the box...and it proved to be England's undoing. 

A wonderful whipped ball from the right flank from Vrsaljko was latched onto by Perisic in the middle of the penalty box, channeling his inner Davor Suker to volley into the back of the net: 


After drawing level, Croatia bombarded the England backline who, miraculously survived the onslaught. Channeling their inner Fortuna, England rode their luck throughout the remainder of the second half: 

After successfully surviving the final 20 minutes, England pushed forward with renewed vigour in the first half of extra time. The Three Lions came within an inch of re-taking the lead in the eighth minute of extra time through John Stones, whose best Didier Drogba impression was matched by Vrsaljko's best Alessandro Florenzi impression to clear the ball off the goal line: 


In the last minute of the first period of extra time, Croatia were denied an almost certain goal by Jordan Pickford. The Everton shot stopper, with arguably the greatest Peter Schmeichel impression of all time, denied Mario Mandzukic his second goal of the tournament with an astonishing save: 

After coming close at the end of the first half of extra time, at the start of the second half, Mandzukic finally gave Croatia the lead. Channeling his inner Gerd Muller, the Juventus forward stole in on the left of the penalty area to volley the ball into the back of the net: 

Mandzukic's goal proved to be enough for Croatia, as England could not find a way through the dogged Croatian defence for a second time.

Despite being beaten on the night, England fans up and down the country remained optimistic about their beloved national team's future: 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)