Croatia

Fanfare as Croatia's Chinese-built bridge finally opens

Until now, Croatians had to cross land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 2.4km (1.5-mile) Peljesac bridge was built by China but largely funded by the European Union.

Celebrations took place throughout the day. Before traffic was allowed on the gleaming white structure, 250 runners had the chance to cross the bridge.

Residents also took the opportunity to walk along the initial stretch of the bridge while small boats with Croatian flags sailed beneath the six pylons.

Croatia captain Luka Modric claims FIFA Player of the Year award

Modric was voted FIFA's best player in the 2017-18 season after winning the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons with Real Madrid and leading Croatia to its first World Cup final where it lost to France.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the only winners of world soccer's main individual award from FIFA in various guises since 2008, both winning five titles each.

Messi didn't make the three-man shortlist and skipped the trip to London.

France 4 Croatia 2

Following a tournament packed with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium lived up to what preceded it from the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic – a cruel role reversal for Croatia's extra-time hero in the semi-final win over England.

Zlatko Dalic's side had started the stronger and levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike before the Inter player was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final.

Mandzukic hails final 'miracle'

Kieran Trippier and Ivan Perisic scored in regular time, before the Juventus forward lost his marker in the 109th minute to net the winner and his second goal of the tournament.

The win puts Croatia into the decider against France on Sunday and Mandzukic, 32, said his country showed great courage in the come-from-behind 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. We've played our hearts out throughout the tournament," he said.

Croatia 2 England 1 (aet)

England made an electric start with Kieran Trippier's early goal and for a large period of the game looked good value to book their passage to the final for the first time since 1966, but Croatia somehow battled through their apparent jadedness to tame the Three Lions, Mandzukic landing the decisive blow.

Gareth Southgate consistently downplayed the euphoria in his team in the build-up, and for a while England gave every indication they were going to take charge of their own destiny, as Trippier found the net with a delightful free-kick in the fifth minute.

Russia 2 Croatia 2 (aet, 3-4 pens)

Having slotted home the winning kick against Denmark in the last 16, Rakitic held his nerve to convert from the spot, with Mario Fernandes going from hero to villain by missing from 12 yards after his 115th-minute header had made it 2-2 deep into extra time.

After ending Russia's impressive run, Zlatko Dalic's side will aim to at least go one better than the famous 1998 vintage, who finished third in France, when they meet England at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

Modric and Croatia somehow survive

Like every other World Cup host city, a large amount of tickets have been sold to local fans. And, just like every other World Cup host city, most of those supporters were still out on the streets, celebrating Russia's penalty shoot-out win over Spain, when Sunday's late game got underway.

Given the spectacle on offer, they will have plenty of reason to keep the party going.

Argentina 0 Croatia 3

Jorge Sampaoli's side produced an abysmal second-half display that severely damages their hopes of following Croatia out of Group D, with Caballero's stray pass to Gabriel Mercado that was volleyed home by Rebic in the 53rd minute proving the turning point.

Any hopes of a late Argentina fightback were extinguished 10 minutes from time as the irrepressible Luka Modric whipped a fine strike into the bottom-right corner from just outside the penalty area.

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