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Croatia reaches World Cup for 1st time, beats England 2-1

Croatia reaches World Cup for 1st time, beats England 2-1

MOSCOW (AP) – Croatia is going to its first World Cup final.

Mario Mandzukic scored in the 109th minute to give the Croats a 2-1 victory over England on Wednesday.

Croatia will face France on Sunday in the World Cup final.

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

About 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored, defender Sime Vrsaljko headed a shot on target off the goal line to keep the score tied.

Kieran Trippier had given England the lead by scoring from a free kick in the fifth minute. But Ivan Perisic equalized in the 68th after getting his foot to ball before England defender Kyle Walker could head it away.

England had been trying to reach its first World Cup final since winning its only title in 1966.

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More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

Croatia's Ivan Perisic celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Croatia’s Ivan Perisic celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England's Kieran Trippier celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

England’s Kieran Trippier celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

England's Kieran Trippier is celebrated after scoring the opening goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England’s Kieran Trippier is celebrated after scoring the opening goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England's Kieran Trippier, right, challenges for the ball with Croatia's Ivan Strinic during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

England’s Kieran Trippier, right, challenges for the ball with Croatia’s Ivan Strinic during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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