Croatia 2 England 1 (after extra time)

Lovren Kane

Lovren Kane

England's hopes of claiming a place in Sunday's final against France faded as a second half goal from Ivan Perisic and an extra time victor from Mario Mandzukic left Gareth Southgate's players shattered, with Keane suggesting the English agony should be laced with pride. "The chances fell to him in the first half, but he wasn't quite good enough".

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.

"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".

"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.

Kieran Trippier gave England the lead in Moscow, but Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia before Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute.

"It's great for us and for smaller countries it shows that if you dream and have the character and work hard, dreams are possible", said former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic in his role as an ITV pundit.

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a awful penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team.

"But the team will be stronger for that and as we reflect over the next few days, there will be a lot more positives. Second half, fair play to Croatia they came out and put the pressure on and we were under the cosh for a little while", the 24-year-old skipper said.

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Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren lasted just 31 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur during the Reds' 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Spurs last October.

"This is history in the making, we've been waiting for this for so long".

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford goes to ground as Sime Vrsaljko of Croatia runs by celebrating victory in their Fifa World Cup semifinal in Moscow.

England players were inconsolable at the final whistle as it began to sink in that the World Cup was not "coming home" and Balotelli appeared to revel in their misery.

"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".

"We all feel the pain of the defeat".

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.

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play", Southgate admitted.

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