Croatia had been desperately poor, a shadow of the team who carved Argentina apart in the group stage, but started to get a foothold in the game as the match rolled past the hour mark and Luka Modric's influence grew.
Croatia are playing well but lack the final touch.
Croatia will meet France in the 2018 World Cup final after a come from behind victory over England in the semi-final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Croatian midfielder Ivan Perisic rose into the air and with an acrobatic touch off his left foot, drilled the ball into the back of the net. Croatia played three straight extra-time matches - two ended in penalty kicks.
England lost 2-1 to Croatia after extra time in their World Cup semifinal on Wednesday, but not before trying to equalize in tricky fashion.
Without stopping to converse with English journalists, he simply said: "It's not coming home".
England looked at their best and most threatening when Sterling was zipping around up front, yet they struggled to get him involved in the second half as Croatia's all-star midfield belatedly took control of proceedings.
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Winger Ivan Perisic levelled scores on the 67th minute after a great cross from defender Sime Vrsaljko.
Harry Kane looks set to claim the Golden Boot as the World Cup´s leading scorer, but the Tottenham star rarely looked like adding to his six goals against Croatia.
Talk about the potential rule loophole started after Portugal's Jose Fonte strangely chose to stay in the field of play while the rest of his team celebrated Cristiano Ronaldo's equaliser against Spain off the pitch.
England's forward Harry Kane (L) and England's coach Gareth Southgate (2L) react react after losing the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.
"The more of these tests we can come through, the better, not just for now, but moving forward". But Kane said the team could "hold our heads held high" as they "went further than anybody thought".
"We were louder, they were carrying us, they picked us up when we were not in control of the game", Dalic said of the supporters. First of all I'm so proud of this team and staff for giving everything we could over a long period of time together.