England knocked out of the World Cup by Croatia
England are out of the World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Croatia in extra-time on Wednesday despite making the perfect start through Kieran Trippier’s early goal.
Trippier, tipped at 55-1 to score first by Racing Post Sport’s Dan Childs, put the Three Lions ahead inside five minutes in Moscow and they were trading at 1-5 in-play before Ivan Perisic equalised for Croatia in the 68th minute.
England wobbled after that goal with Perisic hitting the post following a defensive mix-up but neither side could find a winner in normal time and Mario Mandzukic pounced from close range in the 109th minute to send Croatia through to their first World Cup final.
The 90-minute draw had been a 21-10 chance at kick-off, with the 1-1 correct score available to back at 5-1, and Croatia had been 25-2 to win in extra-time.
The Croatians were 13-10 outsiders to qualify from the semi-final and they will be underdogs again in Sunday's final against France.
Les Bleus claimed their place in the final with a 1-0 win over Belgium on Tuesday and they are no bigger than 1-2 to lift the trophy with Croatia's odds ranging from 6-4 to 15-8.
Zlatko Dalic's men have shown remarkable powers of recovery after going a goal down in all three of their knockout games in Russia.
They beat Denmark on penalties in the last 16 and saw off the tournament hosts in a quarter-final shootout before going to extra-time once again on Wednesday.
Croatia had been 33-1 shots at the start of the tournament and their heroics dashed the hopes of punters who had backed England at 18-1.
Bookmakers' liabilities mounted as the Three Lions progressed through the tournament with Betfred facing a £6m payout had England won the World Cup.
Despite their exit, England's performances under Gareth Southgate impressed layers with bet365 trimming them from 11-1 to 8-1 to win Euro 2020.
Skipper Harry Kane is 1-14 to finish as the tournament's top goalscorer. His tally of six goals puts him two clear of Romelu Lukaku of Belgium, who England face in Saturday's third-place playoff.
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