Jordan Henderson and Gareth Southgate (Getty Images)
The Three Lions were hoping to reach their first final since 1966 and could not have started the match any better.
Kieran Trippier's early sublime free-kick gave the 10 000-strong England fans at the Luzhniki Stadium something to scream about with his curling effort hitting the back of the net.
However, Croatia gained momentum in the second-half and clawed their way back into the encounter courtesy of a Ivan Perisic strike.
England were rattled but held the Luka Modric-lead side to the final whistle to see the match go into extra-time.
Croatia continued to probe and following a lack of concentration in defence, Mario Mandzukic pounced on a lose ball and hit a left-footed strike beyond Jordan Pickford's reach.
England will now meet Belgium for the 3rd Place encounter on Saturday, July 14 (kick-off at 16:00 SA time).