#Russia2018: AM Special Report 12 July
08:36 Thu, 12 Jul 2018
#Russia2018: AM Special Report 12 July | News Article
The final showdown of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been decided and much to the surprise of the footballing world, it will be Croatia and France doing battle for the most coveted trophy in football.

Croatia secured their place in the final after beating England 2-1 in the tournament’s second semi-final last night.

It was a magnificent Kieran Trippier free-kick just outside the 18-yard area that put the three lions ahead after just five minutes, leaving Croatia to chase the game from that point on.

And chase they did, as relentless pressure from the Croats paid off in the 68th minute when striker Ivan Perisic levelled matters at 1-1 to send the game once again into the realm of uncertainty.

It would remain that way until the regulation 90 minutes came to an end signalling extra time for the 4th time in Russia.

It was then a Mario Mandzukic goal then lifted the roof off of the Luzhniki Stadium in the 108th minute as Croatia took a step closer to their first ever world cup final.

In the end, it was heartbreak for England and their millions of hopeful supporters as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.

After all had been said and done, the history books will now reflect that Russia 2018 had a final that featured Croatia and France.

The two national teams have previously played each other five times of which France has won three of those matches, while the other two resulted in a draw.

Their last meeting came on the 29th of March 2011 when the sides played to a goalless stalemate at the Stade de France.

Before the matter of the final can be settled, the bittersweet task of battling it out for 3rd place now falls to the feet of Belgium, who lost 1-0 to France on Tuesday evening, and of course last night’s losers, England.

This 3rd place match will be taking place at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon in the Saint Petersburg Stadium while Sunday’s final will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at around 17:00.

For the latest updates on the 2018 FIFA World Cup visit OFM.co.za and follow @OFMSport on Twitter.

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