Fans in Moscow devastated after England knocked out by Croatia

Grant SmithJul 13, 2018

The final blow was inflected when striker Mario Mandzukic put the Croatians 2-1 ahead in the 109th minute to send them through to the final.

Croatia held on to their 2-1 lead for the remaining 11 minutes and will now play France in Sunday's final while England are left to lick their wounds and contemplate a third-place play-off against Belgium on Saturday. "The more experiences like this the more you I'm going to improve".

Even if the result is quickly forgotten by the fans, it will be remembered in English Premier League locker rooms.

Gareth Southgate has been promised free pizza for life after guiding England to the World Cup semi-final in Russian Federation.

Harry Kane, the leading scorer at the World Cup with six goals, said he isn't motivated by the chance to secure the Golden Boot for top scorer in the third-place game. We weathered a lot of storms out there.

"We are in the final". It still took them eight years to win, but that's got to be our ambition.

Ultimately we were not good enough to win it, but we can accept that - as a team, they still far exceeded all of our expectations, and I would congratulate them for that. "There's so many things to build on now and we've got to make sure we do that". What more could we ask for?

Given they arrived in Russian Federation as rank outsiders, however, Southgate was invited to detail the positives from a campaign that appears to have repaired the strained relationship between England and its team.

As on Wednesday after the match, Dalic pointed out that Croatia did not have a stadium suitable to host England in the new Nations League later this year, an issue that he viewed as proof of the extraordinary feat he had orchestrated.

Meanwhile, in London, an initial wave of elation turned to heartbreak as 30,000 beer-soaked fans in Hyde Park watched their team come up short.

It is too early for Gareth to think about all of that now, because he will still be raw about England's defeat, but over the next two or three weeks he will reflect on what he has achieved and he should be very proud of himself.

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