Ivan Perisic headed the ball into the area, the England defence hesitated and Mandzukic drove his finish past goal-keeper Jordan Pickford with 11 minutes of extratime left to earn them a place in Sunday’s final against France.
England got off to a flying start when Kieran Trippier curled in a free-kick after five minutes to put them ahead and they looked more dangerous throughout the first half.
Croatia took control after half time and hit back when Perisic got in front of his marker to flick in a high cross from Sime Vrsaljko in the 68th minute.
Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute, slotting in from Ivan Perisic’s flick-on into the area.
Perisic’s volley sent the match into extra time after Kieran Trippier had given England a fifth-minute lead with a sublime free-kick.
Unfancied before the competition, Gareth Southgate’s young side defied expectations by reaching the semi-finals but were undone by an experienced Croatia side.
England, playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, got the perfect start through Trippier’s brilliant free-kick and Croatia were finding it extremely difficult to deal with England’s high-tempo game. (Agencies)