When Ivan Perisic's equaliser hit the back of the net primal roars of triumph rang from the cafe terraces and through the open windows. Before the game, Lovren was asked about Liverpool's 4-1 thrashing by Tottenham Hotspur in October, when he was terrorised by Harry Kane and substituted after 31 minutes.
The much younger, faster and less worn out looking England side continued to cause Croatia problems going forward and also doubled their lead but a great Danijel Subasic save kept it at 1-0.
Croatia have been taken to penalties twice in the knockout stages and again had to endure extra time against England.
Before this, Croatia's best finish was third place in France 1998, its first-ever World Cup appearance.
While Mourinho lamented England's inability to grab a second to kill the game off, he admitted the Perisic leveller gave Croatia "an overdose of confidence" that changed the game.
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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. The sound was eclipsed only by the joy that greeted Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor and the impromptu fireworks celebration in the wake of the final whistle. But Ivan Perisic equalized in the 68th after getting his foot to ball before England defender Kyle Walker could head it away.
"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", Southgate said of tonight's opposition. It's been a fantastic journey.
The quarter-final against Sweden saw England triumph with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Sweden, setting up Wednesday's semi-final against Croatia.
For English soccer fans used to painful World Cup exits, the semifinal loss hurt.
Cars and vans drove through the streets with Croatian flags stretched tightly across their bonnets, honking their horns at each other as workers clocked out for the day early and headed home to watch the game.
Josip Pivaric of Croatia celebrates his Fifa World Cup semifinal win over England.