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World Cup

England fall to fourth consecutive semi-final defeat

England have been eliminated in the semi-finals of the World Cup courtesy of an extra-time defeat at the hands of Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

An energy-sapping epic went the distance after Ivan Perisic had cancelled out Kieran Trippier’s early opener, with both sides missing chances to put the game to bed before the additional 30 minutes.

More chances followed in extra time, but it was Mario Mandzukic who made himself the hero with a 109th-minute winner to send Croatia into the final of the World Cup for the first time ever, where they will face France on Sunday.

England, meanwhile, are condemned to a third-placed playoff against Belgium on Saturday having fallen to a fourth consecutive semi-final defeat.

Gareth Southgate named the same starting XI for the third match in a row, and it took just five minutes for England to take the lead in front of a vastly-increased crowd to the one which saw them beat Sweden in the quarter-finals.

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