Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Gareth Southgate defends Harry Kane from semi-final criticism

Gareth Southgate defends Harry Kane from semi-final criticism

But Zlatko Dalić's side equalised in the 68th minute through Ivan Perisic and bossed the game from then on, before Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic popped up with the victor in the second half of extra time to send Croatia into their first ever World Cup final.

Jordan Henderson has been one of England's best players in Russian Federation, but he was asked to do the job of two men at times. They surrendered the first goal in each of their three knockout-stage matches.

A $100 bet on England would net you a $200 profit if they were to win in regulation, but keep in mind that England just played an extra 30 minutes and has a day's less rest.

Croatia were a goal down against Denmark in the last-16 as well as against Russian Federation in the quarter-finals, before equalising and forcing extra time and penalty shootouts to advance.

The odds are already out for the 2018 World Cup final of France vs. Croatia on Sunday, but don't forget that there is also a game on Saturday.

"All played out": Southgate hugs Pickford amid the mass of gloomy England players and staff, but the i Paper sport section leads on Kane's words rallying his teammates to use the experience as fuel for future tournaments.

"We worked as hard as we could.it hurts, it hurts a lot and it will hurt for a long time".

The Croatians had enough left in the tank to put away England, but France have been the strongest team in the tournament.

John Stones has been England's third-biggest attacking threat at this World Cup, being on the end of 1.45 xG, and scoring twice from the chances he has had.

"Everybody kept telling me, 'I'm ready".

But the cold hard truth is that England squandered its chance to reach the final.

The national football team of hosts Russian Federation managed to make it to the quarterfinals stage of this world championship, where Croatia edged them out in a 4-2 penalty shootout on July 7 at the Fisht Arena in Sochi.

But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team. They won their first World Cup penalty shoot-out. It could be a repeat of that under-strength group game that brought a Belgian victory.

"Hold your heads high": The Telegraph focuses on the positives of England's run and Kane's insistence that "this is just the start".

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