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Croatia fans set off flares after beating England in World Cup

Croatia fans are celebrating wildly after victory over England set them up for their first ever World Cup final.

Thousands of Croats have taken to the streets of Zagreb, their nation’s capital, after Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal finished off England in Moscow.

Waving flags and lighting flares, the overjoyed fans are cheering in the city’s main square.

It is the best performance by Croatia at a major international tournament since the nation’s football team was recreated in 1990.      

‘This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England,’ said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday’s final after their 2-1 extra-time win. 

Thousands of Croats took to the streets of Zagreb, their nation's capital, after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time goal finished off England in Moscow

Thousands of Croats took to the streets of Zagreb, their nation's capital, after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time goal finished off England in Moscow

Thousands of Croats took to the streets of Zagreb, their nation’s capital, after Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal finished off England in Moscow

Croatia's supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England

Croatia's supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England

Croatia’s supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England

It is the best performance by Croatia in a major international tournament since the nation's football team was recreated in 1990

It is the best performance by Croatia in a major international tournament since the nation's football team was recreated in 1990

It is the best performance by Croatia in a major international tournament since the nation’s football team was recreated in 1990

'This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England,' said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday's final after their 2-1 extra-time win

'This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England,' said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday's final after their 2-1 extra-time win

‘This is a miracle. Only great teams can be as brave as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England,’ said Mandzukic, whose side face France in Sunday’s final after their 2-1 extra-time win

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who was appointed in October, days before their final group qualifying match against Ukraine, said there was more to come

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who was appointed in October, days before their final group qualifying match against Ukraine, said there was more to come

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who was appointed in October, days before their final group qualifying match against Ukraine, said there was more to come

Delighted Croatia fans cheer their side's victory over England in the World Cup semi-final tonight 

Delighted Croatia fans cheer their side's victory over England in the World Cup semi-final tonight 

Delighted Croatia fans cheer their side’s victory over England in the World Cup semi-final tonight 

‘We’ve played our hearts out throughout the tournament. I am happy with my performances so far but I am here for the team. We were like lions out there tonight and we will be the same in the final.’

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who was appointed in October, days before their final group qualifying match against Ukraine, said there was more to come.

‘We are deservedly in the final,’ he said. ‘What the lads played tonight is fantasy, they’ve made history. We haven’t said our last word, there is still one more game to go. God willing, we will be world champions.’

England captain Harry Kane said the defeat would hurt for a long time.

‘It’s tough, we’re gutted,’ he said. ‘We worked so hard, the fans were amazing, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there’s stuff we could have done better.

‘We worked as hard as we could… it hurts, it hurts a lot and it will hurt for a long time. We have had a fantastic journey, further than we thought,’ he added.    

Croatia fans smile and cheer as they watch their side overcome a profligate England in Moscow. It the tiny Balkan nation's first ever World Cup final 

Croatia fans smile and cheer as they watch their side overcome a profligate England in Moscow. It the tiny Balkan nation's first ever World Cup final 

Croatia fans smile and cheer as they watch their side overcome a profligate England in Moscow. It the tiny Balkan nation’s first ever World Cup final 

'It's tough, we're gutted,' England's Harry Kane said. 'We worked so hard, the fans were amazing, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better'. Pictured: Croatia fans celebrating their win 

'It's tough, we're gutted,' England's Harry Kane said. 'We worked so hard, the fans were amazing, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better'. Pictured: Croatia fans celebrating their win 

‘It’s tough, we’re gutted,’ England’s Harry Kane said. ‘We worked so hard, the fans were amazing, it was a tough game, a 50-50 game, when we look back we will think there’s stuff we could have done better’. Pictured: Croatia fans celebrating their win 

Croatia fans are celebrating wildly after victory over England set them up for their first ever World Cup final

Croatia fans are celebrating wildly after victory over England set them up for their first ever World Cup final

Croatia fans are celebrating wildly after victory over England set them up for their first ever World Cup final

A sea of flare smoke obscures delighted fans in Zagreb as Croatia beat England to reach the final of the World Cup 

A sea of flare smoke obscures delighted fans in Zagreb as Croatia beat England to reach the final of the World Cup 

A sea of flare smoke obscures delighted fans in Zagreb as Croatia beat England to reach the final of the World Cup 

The Croats will face the imperious French in the final after Les Bleus beat Belgium in Tuesday's semi-final 

The Croats will face the imperious French in the final after Les Bleus beat Belgium in Tuesday's semi-final 

The Croats will face the imperious French in the final after Les Bleus beat Belgium in Tuesday’s semi-final 

A man stands before a crowd in Zagreb while holding a flare after watching Croatia defeat England in Moscow 

A man stands before a crowd in Zagreb while holding a flare after watching Croatia defeat England in Moscow 

A man stands before a crowd in Zagreb while holding a flare after watching Croatia defeat England in Moscow 

‘We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn’t get enough pressure on the ball. There are a lot of ifs and buts, in these games it’s small margins.’

‘It’s hard to say (what went wrong). There’s a lot we could have done better. They played well and made it difficult for us… it’s hard to put your finger of it.’

‘It’s been great to get to this stage but we have fallen a little bit short and it hurts.’ 

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