Kane 'gutted' as England's World Cup dream dies

Lovren defending

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic made one change from the side which beat Russian Federation on Saturday with Marcelo Brozovic coming in for Andrej Kramaric.Croatia got off to the worst possible start when in just the 5th minute Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick to the top right corner from just outside the box to give England a 1-0 lead.

Although they saw more of the ball, Dalic's side initially struggled to offer a significant improvement after half-time and England had a penalty shout turned down just after the hour - Domagoj Vida getting a slight touch on the ball before sending Sterling tumbling.

Finally, Croatia defender Vedran Ćorluka had only four words when asked if he had any thoughts regarding the 2-1 victory over England.

England players were shattered at the result. While they ultimately fell a little bit short, this young group of players gave us reason to believe that football was coming home and brings much-needed positivity going forward.

"There will in time be a lot of positives to take", he added.

Mario Mandzukic's strike in extra-time sealed it as Croatia played an additional 30 minutes for the third time in a row. "They have to use this experience for benefit and I know that what´s happened over the last few weeks will make them a stronger team".

The majority of the players can play the next World Cup.




Mandzukic's movement was also a constant challenge for England's back three and John Stones, in particular, did not look as composed as he has done in previous games.

"Especially English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake".

At the other end, Perisic had a shot on target blocked by Kyle Walker but it two minutes later there was no stopping Perisic as he volleyed volleyd home a cross from Vrsaljko on the right.

England had been trying to reach its first World Cup final since winning its only title in 1966.

Many people in England assumed Southgate's men would comfortably brush Croatia to one side before taking on France in Sunday's final. They now have the chance to avenge that loss and become the ninth nation to win a World Cup final.

England´s forward Harry Kane (L) and England´s coach Gareth Southgate react after losing the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.

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