Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on World Cup exit

England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on World Cup exit

Mario Mandzukic became Croatia's hero when he put Croatia in front with 11 minutes to go after a great through ball from Pivaric.

Croatia beat England 2-1 on Wednesday in the World Cup semi-finals, earning a trip to the final in a first in the country's history.

"Mentally strong team", midfielder Ivan Rakatic said.

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.

France reached the final for the third time in their history on Tuesday when a second-half header from Samuel Umtiti gave the 1998 champions a 1-0 victory against Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

Vrsaljko, who plays for Atletico Madrid, had struggled to be ready for the match after playing in two previous extra-time matches, but he found the strength to lift his exhausted, battered team to a comeback win.

Football will not be coming home to England, and there will be no title to match the 1966 triumph at Wembley Stadium.

The extra-time defeat will hurt for a long time, England striker Harry Kane said. Kevin Trippier curled in a free kick in the fifth minute.

England continued to dominate for the first half, missing chances to add to their lead before the break.

Perisic went extremely close to giving Croatia the lead a few minutes later but his curling shot struck the bottom of the far post and was cleared by England, who were now hanging on.

Perisic, who switched between left and right flanks on several occasions during the game, was a constant threat with his pace, direct running and finishing.

Four minutes later, Perisic hit Pickford's near post. "These are the things that you need to go your way in the big games and unfortunately for us it didn't".

Trippier was scoring his first ever goal for England, and he also rewarded those who had backed him at a high of [75.0] in the First Goalscorer market.

Trippier nearly became a hero by scoring the opening goal with a sublime free-kick before his night turned sour with the late Croatia goals and suffering a groin injury.

England head coach Gareth Southgate, centre, embraces England's Dele Alli at the end of the semifinal loss to Croatia.

Zagreb daily 24sata wrote: "England had no chance tonight - Southgate's players did not just play against Dalic's footballers but the whole of Croatia".

Agony was in full view on the Daily Star back page with a "Cro No" inspired headline that captured the anguish on the face of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

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