Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

England were so close to the unimaginable, says Southgate

Lovren defending GETTYLovren has been solid at the back for Croatia so far this tournament
Rita Gibson | 12 July, 2018, 18:04

Ivan Perisic equalised for Croatia in the 68th minute before Mario Mandzukic scored the victor with 11 minutes remaining of extra time.

Croatia had the better of the chances in the remainder of regulation, but England appeared to recover well in the first half of extra time and would have taken the lead in the 98th minute but for Vrsaljko clearing a header by John Stones off the line. Despite the disappointment for England, The Times's expert panel was not short of some trenchant views on the country's most important night for 28 years - or to be precise 10,234 days.

"We deserved the victory", said match-winner Mandzukic.

The nod went to Trippier, and with his first touch of the semi-final he superbly curled the ball home into the top corner.

Croatia is trolling the England national soccer team after dumping it out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in heartbreaking fashion.

"There's still something massively to play for, to be the third-best team in the world, it's a massive thing", he said.

Winger Ivan Perisic levelled scores on the 67th minute after a great cross from defender Sime Vrsaljko.

Croatia's dream continues into Sunday's final against France.

Croatia have been taken to penalties twice in the knockout stages and again had to endure extra time against England.

Jones wins night race at Daytona
Although it was a relatively early point in the race, Lap 53 proved to be one of the defining moments of the night. He started two early accidents that wrecked more than half the field and was part of two more cautions late.

"We're gutted", said Harry Kane, still on course to finish as the tournament's top goalscorer with six strikes in Russian Federation. "It's unlucky we couldn't bring it home for them, but hopefully there's time in the future".

He told ITV after the match: "We dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects". We're the guys that are running on the pitch but he's the backbone of this team. "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball".

"It hurts. I don't know what else to say".

The Three Lions can be proud of their performance at this summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares.

"I was there in France, in the Iceland game, and it was completely different to that", said Walker, recalling that chastening 2-1 defeat under Roy Hodgson. "We got to the semis and enjoyed it".

It was a painful defeat for Belgium, foiled at the semifinal for the second time in their history, as the clock ticks on their so-called "golden generation" of players.

"I can't put into words how much credit he deserves for this".

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