They were briefly silenced when Croatia equalised through Ivan Perisic in the middle of the second half.
For the third successive knockout game the Croats trailed, this time to Kieran Trippier's fifth-minute free kick, but they fought back once more to force extra time.
Croatia's supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semifinal football match between Croatia and England, at the main square in Zagreb on July 11, 2018.
Jason Pine looks back on the World Cup semifinal thriller between England and Croatia.
"We've played five hard games and I know they are exhausted but there can't be any excuses", he added.
England and West Germany were goalless at halftime at Turin's Stadio delle Alpi.
That focus on collective success over individual achievement has been key to England's success this summer, putting them within touching distance of joining the heroes of 1966 as the only team to make a World Cupfinal. The players would be feeling the jitters ahead of the game as they know a mere 90 minutes separate them from a name in their nations sporting folklore.
Harry Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic and forced the rebound against a post while Raheem Sterling was a constant thorn in the Croatia defence.
England could have scored a second when Jesse Lingard received the ball in space on the edge of the box in the 35th but shot wide.
Later this evening, Alli will be involved in a midfield battle against Croatia captain and star player Luka Modric.
But Croatia rallied and gave England's back three more of an examination upon the start of the second period, eventually restoring parity - Ivan Perisic providing a clever finish in the 68th minute.
Perisic almost scored a second goal just minutes later, as he latched onto the ball following a defensive lapse before striking the post with his shot. "It is not anything horrific, but it bothers me and I hope it will recuperate till the match against England", Vrsaljko said, before adding.
Their last clash was at the 2010 World Cup qualifiers where England thrashed Croatia 5-1 in a vigorous manner.
"Let me tell you, whether we win or lose the game, my life will not change", he said.
"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep and we didn't get enough pressure on the ball".
England hasn't played in the semifinals of a major tournament since Southgate's penalty kick at Wembley was saved by Andreas Koepke 22 years ago, and Andrea Moeller put the next kick over David Seaman and under the crossbar.
But Mandzukic came out on top soon after the break, latching on to Perisic's headed pass and sending a left-footed effort across Pickford to find the bottom-right corner, securing Croatia a return to the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday for the final.
The phrase "It's coming home, it's coming home" became the rallying cry for England fans this week as their chances looked good.
With an average age of 26, England is one of the youngest teams at the World Cup.
Croatia were forced to work hard for their place in the semis, needing a penalty shoot-out to beat hosts Russian Federation . We feel proud and happy we are in the semifinals, but we do not want to stop there.
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