As it happened: Croatia beat England in extra time to seal spot in World Cup final

Relive the action below from the Football World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England.


So, Croatia seal their first ever World Cup final appearance, they'll face France on Monday morning NZT.

England will have to turn around quickly to face Belgium in the third place play-off on Sunday morning NZT.

That'll be all from us this morning, but don't worry - we'll be back with more live coverage of the Football World Cup final, thank you for joining us.

8:37am: FULLTIME - Croatia 2 England 1

England throwing everyone forward. Bedelj gives away a handball. Less than a minute to go, Rashford to take. This will be the last kick of the game. Croatia win the header, and they're through to the final!!!

8:33am: 121 mins - Croatia 2 England 1

Three minutes of stoppage time in extra time. England desperate to get anything. 

8:31am: 119 mins - Croatia 2 England 1

Free kick to England. Trippier is off the field so Rashford takes. Maguire goes up and England appeal for a penalty, Lovren touches the ball out, but the call goes against England.

8:28am: 116 mins - Croatia 2 England 1

Pivaric beats his man down the left and gets a cross into Perisic. The winger's shot is deflected out for a Croatian corner. Five minutes to play. They go along the ground and Brozovic curls his shot straight into Pickford.

8:24am: 112 mins - Croatia 2 England 1

Jamie Vardy coming on for England, last roll of the dice from Gareth Southgate. He replaces Kyle Walker.

8:22am: 110 mins - Croatia 2 England 1

GOAL!!! Croatia take the lead! Lingard fluffs a clearance that allows Croatia possession in the box. The ball drops to Mandzukic and he smashes home first time past Pickford. 

8:20am: 108 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Croatia camped in the England half, Pivaric wins a corner. Rakitic goes quickly and catches England out. He finds Brozovic who hits it first time, but the shot isn't on target.

8:18am: 106 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

We're away for the second spell in extra-time - are we destined for another shootout?

8:15am: Halftime in extra time - Croatia 1 England 1

Two minutes of added time, Pivaric crosses for Modric, but the midfielder can't reach it. Croatia go again down the left through Perisic, he crosses in for Mandzukic but Pickford saves from point blank range to save a certain goal. Croatia will have a corner.

Mandzukic is staying down after that, he leaves the pitch for treatment. Modric stands over the corner and goes short to Kramaric. He plays a one-two with Modric, but the referee blows for halftime in extra-time.

8:11am: 105 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Kane gives away a foul on Rakitic and Croatia have a free kick. Kane wins the ball back and looks for Alli over the top. The ball goes out for a throw.

8:08am: 103 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Rashford gives away a foul after a sliding tackle on Vrsaljko. Croatia make a change with Kramaric on for Rebic. Modric goes short with the free kick, Brozovic looks to cross but Rose blocks. England win the ball back before Modric gives away a throw.

8:05am: 100 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Dier wins a corner with his first action, with his shot deflected behind. Trippier to take, Stones wins the header but Vrsaljko clears off the line! 

8:03am: 98 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Rose strides forward, but is taken out by Rebic. Free kick to England, Trippier stands over it. It's smack-bang in the middle, so won't favour either foot for a cross, he has to shoot.

He plays it in for Maguire, but England give away a foul after a grapple on Mandzukic. Henderson is replaced by Dier for England's final change.

7:59am: 94 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Rashford and Lingard try to work their way into the area, but Vida intervenes. The ball is bombed downfield for Rose, but he's fouled by Rebic.

7:56am: 91 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

England make their second change of the night before extra time, Danny Rose on for Ashley Young.

7:51am: End of normal time - Croatia 1 England 1

Croatia win a throw in, less than a minute to play. Brozovic switches to Vrsajlko, who finds Modric, crossing into the box but Stones clears. Perisic dribbles down the left but Walker blocks and that'll be fulltime.

We're into extra time once again.

7:49am: 90+2 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Rashford draws a foul from Rakitic wide on the right and England will have a chance to win it from a set piece. Trippier stands over it, his effort finds Kane, who heads down but wide of the target.

7:47am: 90 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Rebic is played through on Croatia's left, but his cross doesn't find a target. England throw. Croatia win possession again and attack in the dying minutes. Brozovic switches from left to right, but Lovren belts a shot out over the bar. There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

7:43am: 86 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Strinic strides forward from left-back, before cutting inside and trying to find Perisic on the right. The winger overruns the pass though and England have a throw. 

7:40am: 84 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Mandzukic goes close but Pickford saves at the near post, before sending down a long goal kick that Rashford nearly latches onto, Subasic gets there first though.

7:38am: 82 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Trippier nearly plays Perisic clean through on goal, but Walker does well to get there first. 

7:34am: 77 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Lingard is played down the right after a throw in, and looks to curl his shot into the far post, but the ball dribbles out for a throw. 

7:29am: 72 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

Croatia go close again! Perisic cuts inside onto his left and shoots but he hits the post. All one way traffic at the moment.

7:26am: 69 mins - Croatia 1 England 1

GOAL!!! Croatia equalise! Vrsajlko crosses in and Perisic is there to head home. England concede having defended for so long. Could we be set for another extra-time thriller?

7:23am: 66 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Young reads Vrsajlko's cross and finds Sterling as England look to break, Vida wins his tackle and Croatia look to go forward now. Modric crosses but Stones heads away, the ball drops to Perisic who fires a shot away but it's blocked! Goalmouth scramble on as Croatia look to pile the ball into the area. Modric fouls Young to break up play though.

7:17am: 61 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Walker skews a clearance to give a corner to Croatia. Modric takes and Pickford punches to Lingard, but he's taken out by Brozovic. England look to play on quickly but the referee brings the ball back.

7:15am: 59 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Croatia attack now, Rebic crosses but Stones is up to clear. Kane then wins a throw down the left flank after stealing the ball from Lovren. 

7:14am: 57 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Corner for England, but Trippier's ball away is cleared to Walker. England go back to Trippier, who this time crosses low for Kane, but his header is blocked. 

7:12am: 55 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Kane tries to weave through Vrsaljko and Lovren but is taken out, the right-back clears into touch. Young takes the throw. Croatia win the ball and break, but Walker is booked after giving away a foul. Strinic tries to weave down the left, but Lingard gives away a corner.

Rakitic takes, but Croatia give away a foul after a push on Maguire.

7:05am: 49 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Rebic becomes the first player booked after a cynical foul. But the referee wants to check the VAR to see if it was Mandzukic at fault? Strange scenes.

Rebic's yellow card stands.

7:02am: 46 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Croatia kick off the second half. Only once before have a team lost a World Cup semi-final after leading at halftime...


Croatia the first side out of the tunnel, they appear unchanged after the break.

Harry Kane leads England back, they're now 45 minutes away from the final. Can they hold on? Or do Croatia have what it takes to turn this around?

6:46am: HALFTIME - Croatia 0 England 1

Throw in for England, Young takes but they stretch wide to Trippier on the right. The ball is played back and Pickford is under pressure from Mandzukic. Stones clears to Rakitic, but Walker tidies up again. Trippier gives away a foul and Croatia have a free kick wide on the left.

Modric takes as we're into the one minute of added time. Walker wins the header and England look to counter, but the referee blows for halftime.

6:43am: 43 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Croatia with the 51 per cent of possession so far, but have only had one touch inside the England box. Vrsajlko shoots from miles away, with Pickford's goal untroubled.

6:40am: 40 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Croatia with the ball in England's half. Rakitic having to drop very deep to infulence the play. The ball goes to Rebic out on the right, but Maguire wins possession back. Young tries to run down the left, but Rebic gives away a foul.

6:36am: 36 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Huge chance wasted for England. Kane finds Alli who cuts back to Lingard, but his curled shot goes wide.

6:33am: 33 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Corner for Croatia after Young intercepts a through ball. Modric takes and Stones wins the first header, but Croatia give away a foul. Handball from Mandzukic, Croatia starting to look dangerous.

6:31am: 31 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

First real chance for Croatia now! England scramble the ball out of their own area, but Stones' clearance falls for Rebic who curls hit shot straight at Pickford.

6:30am: 30 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Kane misses a golden opportunity after a delicate pass through from Lingard, Subasic with a great save. The England skipper looks for the second ball, but he's offside.

6:28am: 28 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Chris Chang leads TVNZ’s football experts to talk about England's thrilling victory over Colombia.
Harry Kane. Source: Associated Press

Sterling is free down the right, but Lovren takes him out to gift England a free kick in the Croatian half. Young curls it in, but Subasic gets there with the punch to see the ball out for a throw.

Trippier takes, England go all the way back to Pickford who goes long, Kane knocks down for Henderson, who looks for Alli, who gives away a handball.

6:22am: 22 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Rebic beats Young and tries a shot, but Stones is there to block it comfortably. Croatia looking for that final ball through to Mandzukic.

The ball is played forward to Kane, but Lovren takes him out. Free kick to England and they take it quickly! Sterling looks for Kane, but the captain's offside.

6:18am: 18 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

England holding onto possession. Kane finds Henderson, who looks to go over the top for Sterling, but Subasic gets there first. Croatia looking to attack now. Modric finds Perisic with another ball over the England line but Walker clears. 

Rakitic looks to switch the play over to Vrsajlko, but the ball goes over the sideline for an England throw.

6:14am: 14 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Perisic blocks Trippier's cross to give England another corner. This time Trippier to take, Maguire meets it again, but his header is wide of the target.

6:12am: 12 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

Brozovic gives away a corner for England, Young to take. Maguire meets it, but Alli gives away a foul for a challenge on Mandzukic.

6:09am: 9 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

England are nearly in again as a Pickford goal kick sees Sterling away, Strinic forces it out for a throw. Croatia stride forward down the right hand side now. They switch to the left out to Perisic who crosses, but Walker clears.

The ball goes to Perisic again who crosses in for Mandzukic, but Young gets there first to give away a corner.

Modric stands over it, Maguire clears.

6:05am: 5 mins - Croatia 0 England 1

GOAL!!! Free kick to England right on the edge of the area after Modric brings down Alli. Trippier could fancy this close range. He and Young stand over the dead ball.

Five in the Croatian wall. Trippier takes and he scores!!!!!!

6:03am: 3 mins - Croatia 0 England 0

Strinic and Perisic combine down the right, but Trippier and Walker snuff out the threat. The ball goes to Pickford who looks to play it out of defence, but his kick goes into touch to gift Croatia a throw.

6:00am: KICKOFF - Croatia 0 England 0

We're away in Moscow! England have the first use of the ball.


Time for the anthems, Croatia are first as the home side for today's match, followed by England's "God Save the Queen."


We're all ready to go in Moscow. Croatia are the home side for today's clash - meaning England won't be able to wear their 'lucky' red kits.


Here are the starting XIs, England are unchanged from their 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden, with both Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli passed fit to play.

Croatia on the other hand, make just one change, with Marcelo Brozovic coming in to anchor the midfield pair of Modrid and Rakitic. Right-back Sime Vrsaljko has been passed fit to play.

Croatia (4-1-4-1): 23. Danijel Subasic (gk), 2. Sime Vrsaljko, 6. Dejan Lovren, 21. Domagoj Vida, 3. Ivan Strinic, 11. Marcelo Brozovic, 18. Ante Rebic, 10. Luka Modric (c), 7. Ivan Rakitic, 4. Ivan Perisic, 17. Mario Mandzukic.

England (3-1-4-2): 1. Jordan Pickford (gk), 2. Kyle Walker, 5. John Stones, 6. Harry Maguire, 8. Jordan Henderson, 12. Kieran Trippier, 7. Jesse Lingard, 20. Dele Alli, 18. Ashley Young, 10. Raheem Sterling, 9. Harry Kane (c).


After France came away with a 1-0 win over Belgium yesterday morning, England and Croatia will now go head to head in the battle to meet Les Bleus in Moscow on Monday.

Today's clash is significant for both sides, with England out for their first shot at a World Cup title since their famous 1966 victory, meanwhile Croatia have reached this stage just once before in their history, coming in 1998 after eliminating Germany.

These two sides have met at a major tournament just once before, with England emerging victors 4-2 at Euro 2004, however Croatia will look favourably back on their win to deny the Three Lions a place at Euro 2008.

We'll have the final starting XIs for you shortly.

Mario Mandzukic celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England
Mario Mandzukic celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England Source: Associated Press


Former Premier League striker rejects offer to join rebuilding Wellington Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix are back to recruiting players after their latest attempt to sign another former Premier League player fell through.

The Kiwi club was in talks with veteran Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins after he had been frozen out by his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua following a serious injury in April.

But Martins has decided to focus on recovery from his torn hamstring instead of signing with a new team.

"I've spoken with Obafemi and he just wants to continue to rehabilitate from his injury in the UK for the time being," his agent Ante Alilovic told SBS.

"He's told me he wants to hold off until January (to make a decision on his future).

"I don't think the A-League is a serious option in terms of what he can earn elsewhere. He won't be coming to Australia and I think he sees his future remaining in China."

Martins played five seasons for Inter Milan from 2001-2006 before moving to the Premier League, making 88 appearances in three years for Newcastle United. More recently, Martins has played in Major League Soccer before joining Shanghai.

It's a blow for the Wellington club who received a green light from Football Federation Australia to pursue the 33-year-old with a marquee contract, meaning they would contribute from their own funds to help the Phoenix get his signature on the dotted line.

It marks the second failed attempt to find a marquee player after reported negotiations between former Chelsea star Michael Essien and Phoenix broke down prior to their pursuit of Martins.

Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor.
Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor. Source: Getty


TVNZ FC: Return of the Champions League and this is Zlatan's world, we just live in it

TVNZ FC is back for another week, with plenty to talk about from the world of football.

This week, Jack Tame is joined by Victor Waters and Simon Plumb, as Europe's elite welcomed the return of the Champions League.

Elsewhere, Liverpool and Chelsea keep their 100 per cent winning starts to the Premier League alive, while Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks his duck in Italy.

Jumping across the pond, Zlatan Ibrahimovic notched his 500th career goal in the only way he knows how, firing home an audacious karate-kick for the LA Galaxy against Toronto FC.

And finally, our very own Victor finds himself at the centre of a movement to bring a former Newcastle and Inter Milan star down under to the Wellington Phoenix.

Jack Tame leads TVNZ's football gurus to discuss this week's action. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: Stunning late goal gives Liverpool dramatic Champions League victory over PSG

Roberto Firmino had an eye for goal just when Liverpool needed a winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Liverpool had thrown away a two-goal lead at Anfield today, with Kylian Mbappe striking an 83rd-minute equaliser, but the French World Cup star's carelessness at the other end proved costly for PSG in stoppage time.

Mbappe was dispossessed by James Milner, giving Liverpool a final chance to attack the visiting goal.

Firmino, who only came on in the second half after scratching his eye in Sunday's victory at Tottenham, found the space to weave through the PSG defence and strike the ball low into the net to seal a 3-2 victory.

For his celebration, the Brazilian covered his left eye as teammates leapt on him.

It made for painful viewing for PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, who had seen similar scenes before.

As Borussia Dortmund coach, Tuchel's side also conceded in the first minute of stoppage time at Anfield to go out of the Europa League in the quarterfinals in 2016.

The stakes weren't as high this time. This was only the opening game in Group C of the Champions League and PSG has five games to secure one of the top two places to advance to the round of 16.

But four months after losing last season's final, Liverpool showed they might be capable of challenging for the title once again by finding a way to tame Neymar and Mbappe for much of the game.

An emphatic start saw Daniel Sturridge score the opener in the 30th minute and Milner double the lead from the penalty spot six minutes later.

But having failed to turn their dominance into more goals, Liverpool conceded before halftime when Thomas Meunier sliced into the net.

And Liverpool was left reeling when Mohamed Salah misplaced a pass that allowed Neymar to carry the ball forward and Mbappe to produce the equaliser.

Salah was brought off two minutes later, and found his own curious way to celebrate Firmino's winning goal.

The Egypt forward threw a water bottle at the ground looking far from happy.

Liverpool snatched a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League fixture. Source: SKY


Inter Milan star fires home brilliant volley as Tottenham snatch Champions League defeat from jaws of victory

Inter Milan scored two late goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to mark their return to the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Tottenham this morning.

Inter's first game in the competition since 2012 looked set to end in disappointment when Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen's shot took a lucky deflection and looped into the net in the 53rd minute.

But Mauro Icardi equalised with a perfectly struck volley in the 86th and Vecino headed in the winner in injury time to send the San Siro wild.

Tottenham fell to their third straight loss in all competitions despite taking the lead somewhat against the run of play.

Eriksen's initial shot was parried by Samir Handanovic but the Inter defense failed to clear the danger.

The ball came back to the Denmark international and his second attempt took a huge deflection off Joao Miranda and floated over Handanovic.

However, Icardi pounced four minutes from time with a powerful volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

That inspired Inter and they poured forward. After earlier chances to snatch the winner, a corner was nodded on to Vecino who headed in in the second minute of stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane's post-World Cup struggles continued.

Kane was the top scorer at the tournament in Russia with six goals in England's run to the semifinals, but the 25-year-old has not found the back of the net since a 3-0 victory over Manchester United last month.

He went closest in the 37th minute as he sprung the offside trap to meet Eriksen's ball over the top but Handanovic forced the England forward wide and he couldn't find the angle to shoot.

Mauro Icardi’s 86th minute stunner helped Inter stun Spurs 2-1. Source: SKY