World Cup – England ‘Trip’ and fall
Trippier heroics not enough in last four
Wed 11 July 2018, 22:07|Tottenham Hotspur
Kieran Trippier opened his England goalscoring account with a stunning early free-kick, but it was Croatia who went the distance to win Wednesday night’s World Cup semi-final after extra time in Moscow.
In the Three Lions’ biggest game in a generation – their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and only their third in history after the fabled 1966 triumph – right wing-back Kieran stepped up with another blistering display, capped by his sublime free-kick five minutes into the contest following a foul on Dele Alli.
Striking the set-piece up and over the wall, he sent the ball soaring high into the net to give his side the lead, but after England dominated the remainder of the first half, including a chance that slipped away from Harry Kane – denied first by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic before hitting the near post in the melee as the linesman’s flag went up – Croatia came back into the game.
Ivan Perisic levelled on 68 minutes, taking his nation into extra time for the third consecutive match, before Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 victory for Croatia in the 19th of the additional 30 minutes.
Sadly, ‘Trips’ couldn’t complete the game as he limped off injured towards the end having given his all, but our other four players did see the final whistle – skipper Harry and Dele played the whole match, Danny Rose came on at left-back in place of Ashley Young ahead of extra time and Eric Dier was introduced for Jordan Henderson in the engine room seven minutes later.
Spurs goalscorers at 2018 World Cup
Harry Kane of England - 2 v Tunisia (18 June), 3 v Panama (24 June), 1 v Colombia (3 July)
Heung-Min Son of South Korea - 1 v Mexico (23 June), 1 v Germany (27 June)
Christian Eriksen of Denmark - 1 v Australia (21 June)
Jan Vertonghen of Belgium - 1 v Japan (2 July)
Dele Alli of England - 1 v Sweden (7 July)
Kieran Trippier of England - 1 v Croatia (11 July)
Gareth Southgate’s brave charges won’t be flying home just yet, however, as they end a superb campaign in which they’ve defied expectations by taking on Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen’s Belgium in Saturday’s third place place-off (3pm UK), in what is a repeat of the final game in Group G earlier in the tournament, which the Red Devils won 1-0.
Croatia advance to face a France side captained by Hugo Lloris for the biggest prize in world football on Sunday (4pm UK).