The Sun is slowly setting on the football world’s crowning glory as the second finalist was confirmed on Wednesday evening.
With a place against France in the final at stake, neither England nor Croatia were willing to give up without a fight, making for a memorable encounter.
KFC Moment 1
With just five minutes on the clock, every English fan would have believed that the stars were finally aligning. Gareth Southgate’s men came out the gates determined and earned a free-kick just outside the box.
This brought Kieran Trippier onto centre stage, as all eyes fell on the 27-year-old full-back as he took aim at the Croatian goal.
In what can only be described as free-kick reminiscent of former England free-kick specialist David Beckham, Trippier curler his effort over the ball and into the top right-hand corner.
The goal left Croatian keeper Danijel Subasic bewildered as he watched the ball hit the back of the net, which sent the English fans in attendance into a state of extreme euphoria and ecstasy.
KFC Moment 2
As the saying goes ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’. That exemplifies Mario Mandzukic’s defining moment in extra-time.
The lanky forward had a rather quiet night upfront, but when his moment came, he would ensure that his name was written in Croatian football folklore.
Heart, determination and sheer willingness to not give up is what epitomised the Croatian’s performance on the night and Mandzukic’s goal pretty much summed that up.
Following a miscued header by the England defender, the 32-year-old capitalised on a mistake at the back and the rest was history.
The Italian-based star, showed great composure as he latched onto the loose ball and expertly placed the ball past a despairing Jordan Pickford in the English goal.
This silenced the England fans, while the Croatian’s celebrated into the night as they qualified for their first global final in their short history.