It’s exactly one year to the day since England played in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.
Croatia were a talented side but England fans were nervously optimistic ahead of kick-off. Reaching the World Cup final for the first time since 1966 was a very real possibility.
And the same supporters genuinely thought that football was coming home when Kieran Tripper banged in his inch-perfect fifth-minute free-kick at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Sadly, that was to be the highlight of an otherwise crushing evening for the Three Lions.
Ivan Perisic’s second-half goal sent the semi-final to extra-time, while Mario Mandzukic broke England hearts with his 109th-minute goal.
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England’s players had 10 minutes to salvage their World Cup dream.
And in a desperate attempt to equalise, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard decided to try and catch Croatia out while they were celebrating.
There had previously been talk during the tournament that teams were entitled to restart play if all of the opposition’s players had left the pitch.
Panama tried to do the same thing against England during the group stages.
This was information was incorrect, but Rashford and Lingard clearly weren’t aware that the rumoured ‘rule’ was fake.
Watch the incident here…
Another angle shows that, even if the referee had allowed England to play on from kick-off, the goal wouldn’t have counted.
Why? Because Rashford was actually in an offside position when Lingard played the pass to him.
In their rush to catch Croatia out, Lingard and Rashford managed to mess up the quick kick-off routine.
Still, full marks to the Manchester United duo for at least trying to think outside the box in an attempt to rescue their national team.
England failed to find the precious equaliser and it was Croatia who advanced to the World Cup final, where they were beaten by eventual champions France.News Now - Sport News