New Delhi: Valiant Croatia on Wednesday defeated favourite England 2-1 in the second semifinal of FIFA World Cup 2018 to book a date with France in the grand finale in Moscow on Sunday. Mario Mandzukic’s 109th-minute strike helped Croatia upset England in the 120 minutes of play to reach their first-ever World Cup final. Ahead of Croatia-versus-England game, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had handed team jerseys to US counterpart Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May at a NATO summit in Brussels.
The president gave Croatia’s red and white jerseys with the names of Trump and May written on them. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had later posted the picture of her holding the jerseys with Trump and May on her Twitter account.
While Trump was handed the number 9 jersey that presently belongs to striker Andrej Kramaric and that of Croatia legend David Suker who had taken the team to World Cup semifinal in 1998, but lost to eventual champions France. On the other hand, May was given Croatia captain Luka Modric’s jersey.
May had even taken time off the summit to wish England all the luck. She said, “Gareth Southgate and the England boys have done a fantastic job and I wish them all the very best of luck tonight!”
— Kolinda GK (@KolindaGK) July 11, 2018
On Wednesday evening, Keiran Trippier handed England a perfect start when he struck a 20-yard freekick past Daniel Subasic five minutes into the game. Ivan Perisic pulled off the equaliser in the 69th minute to take the game to the extra time.
Mandukic then made the most of the small defensive error from John Stones to hand Croatia the lead when he struck home a flick of a header from Perisic in the 109th minute of the match.