MOSCOW: Croatia extended a remarkable story in defeating England 2-1 after extra time to reach Sunday’s World Cup Final against France in Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium.

Coincidentally it was against France, in France, that they lost the 1998 semi-final and not only that but semi-final match-winner Ivan Perisic learned his football there after his family moved when he was teenager.

Perisic, after the victory over England, said: “It was a difficult game because we all know what was at stake and how important a semi-final is for a small country like Croatia. We started slowly and showed our character as in the two previous rounds when we were also a goal down and had to come back.

“I have beautiful memories of France but no-one can be happier to play against them in the final than me. My mother told me she had a dream that Croatia and France woud play the final – and now her dream has come true.”