Mario Mandzukic's extra-time strike completed a battling turnaround as Croatia beat England 2-1 to reach World Cup final for the first time in their history.
England made an electric start with Kieran Trippier's early goal and for a large period of the game looked good value to book their passage to the final for the first time since 1966, but Croatia somehow battled through their apparent jadedness and tamed the Three Lions in extra-time, Mandzukic landing the decisive blow.
Gareth Southgate consistently downplayed the euphoria in his team in the build-up, and for a while England gave every indication they were going to take charge of their own destiny, as Trippier found the net with a delightful free-kick in the fifth minute.
But Croatia kept their focus and Mandzukic struck left-footed in the 109th minute, ending England's dreams for another four years and setting up a final with France on Sunday, as Zlatko Dalic's men move another step closer to a first World Cup title.
Yes, England! It's coming!!!....The plane, that is pic.twitter.com/86OaihEgCX
— Jimmi Gathu (@JimmiGathu) July 11, 2018
It is coming home......the England plan is coming home.....
— Mike Okinyi (@MikeOkinyi) July 11, 2018
Croatia saves the world a great deal of really BAD JOURNALISM by ending what was a very bad football joke.
— James Smart (@jamessmat) July 11, 2018
They never met any real opposition in group stages apart from Belgium, never created chances, they just got a lucky path to semis
— Gidi Ogidi (@GidiOgidi) July 11, 2018
I pity England players even our very own Harambee stars dont get such hate
— Lankenua (@Lankenua) July 11, 2018
A Frenchman and Englishman meet and the English guy says “we’re playing Croatia on Wednesday”. The Frenchman replies “what a coincidence, we play them on Sunday” #JustForLaughs
— Francis Gaitho (@Kenyafootball) July 11, 2018
Some you win, some you learn. Congrats Embassava sacco, maybe not on Sunday but its definitelycominghomesoon. Goodnight good people.
— kennedyotieno (@OtienoKenny) July 11, 2018
Poor England, so much believe and not so much substance to back it up. You can only fake it for so long. There is Saturday though.
— Walter Onyino (@onyino_walter) July 11, 2018
Come on U English, cheer up! Was arguably the weakest of ur sides in recent WorldCup tournaments...but resilient, organized and determined! Everyone In England must’ve been pinching themselves! More than a bargain! I bet Southgate had little interference picking the side #CROENG
— Hussein Mohamed (@HusseinMohamedg) July 11, 2018