Live Commentary: Croatia 0-1 England

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Good evening and welcome to Nigerianeye’s live text coverage of the World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Croatia are bidding to reach the final of the competition for the first time in their history, having failed to even make it past the group stages since their third-placed finish at France 1998.

England, meanwhile, are appearing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and know that victory would take them to the final for only the second time ever, and the first since they lifted the trophy in 1966.

The winners will face France in the final on Sunday.

Make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action courtesy of our live text coverage below.

OFFICIAL LINE-UPS

CROATIA: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Modric, Rakitic; Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic

ENGLAND: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Young; Lingard, Sterling; Kane

45+1 min Almost a late fright for England as an incident in the final free kick of the half is taken to VAR after the referee has blown his whistle. All the England players are off the pitch, and thankfully no penalty is given.

45+1 min HALF TIME: Croatia 0-1 England

45 min There will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.

45 min England almost shoot themselves in the foot here as a mix-up between Walker and Stones is followed by a nervy clearance from Pickford. Croatia win it back and play it to Rakitic, who tries the flick the ball inside Gazza-esque before being crowded out.

43 min This plays right into England’s hand; Vrsaljko ends a long passing move by going for goal from a long, long way out, and he slices it well off target.

42 min England could well be further ahead here, but right now their priority must be getting to half time with this lead intact. Croatia have grown into the game a little, but England remain in control courtesy of that early Trippier free kick.

40 min Vida is getting the treatment from Russian fans whenever he gets on the ball, and it is no surprise really considering his comments on Ukraine which really drew the ire of the host nation.

38 min That is Kane and Lingard who have now missed clear chances for England, and one can only hope that they don’t live to rue them. Gazza in 1990, when he just couldn’t reach the ball, springs to mind.

36 min CHANCE! Another chance goes begging for England, who should be further ahead here! Kane gives the ball out to Alli, who in turn plays a square ball to Lingard on the edge of the box. Lingard has the time and space to pick his spot, but he doesn’t get his foot around it and fires his effort wide of the target when he should have done better.

34 min This is Croatia’s best spell of the match right now and the nerves will be beginning to jangle for England. A second goal would really settle those nerves, but they can be pleased with their performance so far.

32 min SAVE! Pickford has his first save to make as Stones cuts out a dangerous ball into the box and Maguire can only poke it as far as Rebic. Rebic curls an effort towards goal, but it is straight at Pickford.

30 min CHANCE! Huge chance for England to double their advantage, and it falls to the man they would want too! The ball is slipped through to Kane and he only has Subasic to beat, but he cannot bend the ball around the keeper. The loose ball squirms away but Kane picks it up against and tries to squeeze it in from a tight angle, only for it to take a deflection off the defender, post and loop away to safety.

29 min Croatia have certainly settled after that tricky start, but they are yet to find their usual rhythm here.

27 min Brilliant pace from Sterling as he gives Lovren a big head start but still beats him to the ball. He then cuts inside and draws a rash foul from the Liverpool man, giving England another free kick in a crossing position.

25 min We’re 25 minutes into this first half now and England will be delighted so far. They have the early goal, Pickford is yet to make a save and they are looking dangerous on the break too. Very promising signs.

23 min SHOT! Perisic tires his luck from range once again as the ball bounces kindly for him on the half-volley, but he doesn’t catch it right and it is never troubling Pickford.

22 min A defensive error almost gifts England a good chance as they give the ball straight to Sterling, but his pass inside to Kane finds the Tottenham man offside.

21 min Croatia are beginning to grow into this game a little now and Rebic looks to have created space to shoot from just outside the box, but Stones darts out to throw himself in front of the ball.

19 min SHOT! Croatia have their first effort of the night as Perisic tries his luck from range, but Pickford looks to have it covered on its way wide. Perisic wants a corner – and he should have one as it took a nick off Walker on the way through – but the referee gives a goal kick.

18 min The Bury Beckham strikes again!

16 min Croatia just have not been able to get into this game at all so far. England have made a brilliant start and have been on top almost from the first whistle. A second goal would do wonders for them here.

14 min CHANCE! Another corner, and another Maguire header. This one is a better chance for the Leicester man, though. He gets up well and plants a downward header a yard or so wide of the post.

12 min Young drifts a corner into the area and it is no surprise to see Maguire smashing his way through to get his head on it. He cannot keep his effort down, though, and the referee blows for a free kick anyway.

11 min Feast your eyes on this beauty from Trippier – only the third man to score for England in a World Cup semi-final, joining Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker. Exalted company indeed!

9 min The first piece of Croatia pressure comes as they win a corner and England make a bit of a mess of clearing it. They soon break out, though, and Kane almost releases Sterling with a ball forward which Vrsaljko does well to cut out.

7 min England can smell blood here! They have come flying out of the blocks and Sterling has just threatened a couple of times with his pace in behind too. The onus is on Croatia now, but England are looking to put this game to bed early.

5 min What a start for England! It is an absolute dream for Southgate’s side as they take the lead after just five minutes, and it is a stunner from Kieran Trippier!

The Tottenham full-back bends the free kick over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Subasic no chance whatsoever! What a time to get your first goal for England!

5 min GOAL! Croatia 0-1 England (Kieran Trippier)

4 min Lingard brings the ball down majestically and knocks the ball inside for Alli, who is brought down by Modric. Free kick to England in a very good position…

3 min The England fans are out in force for this match; there were around 3,400 in Samara for the quarter-final, but there is reportedly at least 10,000 here for this semi-final. They are making themselves heard too!

1 min KICKOFF: Here we go! England get us underway in Moscow!

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