"Don't Look Back In Anger" - England fans' emotional praise following Croatia defeat

Gareth Southgate England 2018 FIFA World Cup Croatia

England were so close to the unimaginable says Southgate

Mario Mandzukic scored in the 109th minute of extra time Wednesday to send Croatia past England and into Sunday's World Cup final against France with a 2-1 victory.

The Three Lions suffered an extra-time 2-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia in Moscow, after a roller-coaster game which saw England take an early lead through Kieran Trippier, only for a second-half equaliser from Ivan Perisic to take the game to extra time and set up Mario Mandzukic's late victor.

Some of their players believe they were underestimated by English football fans the media alike in the build-up to the semi-final and, in fairness, they might have a point.

"I received a question like 'what do you think about the 4-1?' I really do not understand those questions, always looking back to where I made some mistakes".

"But we left everything out there".

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with teammates during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between Croatia and England.

Croatia had 45 minutes to keep their World Cup dream alive but with Modric well contained, and Strinic and Vrsaljko forced into playing long balls, an equaliser look like it would be hard to come by. We know we have done people proud by getting this far, but we wanted to go on and win it. The team will be stronger for that.

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Southgate claimed England "broke through barriers" during their World Cup campaign in Russian Federation. "It was a 50/50 game and we will look back at stuff we could have done better". But the untelevised footage certainly showed the extent England were willing to go to score against Croatia to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Right now, individual awards may mean little to Kane - but his manager, England boss Gareth Southgate, believes the entire team can feel proud of what they accomplished in Russian Federation.

"But we handled it well, but unfortunately we conceded at the wrong time, after that I thought we again picked it up again and done well". Plenty of others captured the moment England fans were so loud in defeat that you could hardly hear what Slaven Bilic and Ryan Giggs had to say.

The national broadcaster, HRT, started its post-match programme with presenters and studio guests jumping around and chanting, while Robert Prosinecki, a member of Croatia's bronze-winning side in 1998, said: "We murdered the English in the second half!".

With six goals so far, he is two goals clear of Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, who he will come face-to-face within Saturday's third-place playoff.

"Yeah of course [I want to play]".

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