Croatia vs England: ‘We left everything out there’, says Southgate

Croatia vs England: ‘We left everything out there’, says Southgate

Croatia vs England: ‘We left everything out there’, says Southgate

England won't have to wait too long to try and avenge their World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia but it will come under rather unusual circumstances.

"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croatian living in Germany as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile on his face. Perisic scored for Croatia mid way through the second half to take it to extra time.

Croatia beat Denmark in the Round of 16 and Russian Federation in the quarter-finals, with both victories coming at the end of penalty shoot-outs. This is an fantastic achievement for us - it's a dream come true after such a long time.

"The Fiery Ones are in the final, the nation is in a trance - one more step to the title!" said the Jutarnji List, using the team's nickname. "Those friendlies were a huge help so that now here we are about to play the final". I'm sure that we'll recover and we'll be fine - this is the World Cup final and there are no excuses.

Vrsaljko also hit out at the media, with England favourites going into the last-four clash.

Kieran Trippier's excellent free-kick from the edge of the Croatia penalty area gave Gareth Southgate's side the lead early in the game.

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Around 26 million people were believed to have watched the match on TV in Britain. He's getting so, so close to one of these trophies and a big success in his career, and it will be making of him and people will realise the player and the leader he is.

"We thought we were just good enough, we thought we could have done that".

The fact remains, though, that on Sunday they will play the biggest match of their lives against a France side bursting with youth and vigour that has had a day more rest and played the equivalent of a match fewer over the knockout rounds.

The Earl of Strathearn said: "I know how disappointed England must feel right now but I couldn't be more proud of this team and you should hold your heads high".

Harry Kane looks set to claim the Golden Boot as the World Cup´s leading scorer, but the Tottenham star rarely looked like adding to his six goals against Croatia.

Southgate's trick, as an ex-international player, was to identify the issues that had blocked England's path in the past.

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