UK TV Pundit Slaven Bilic in his Element After Croatia Beats England

Croatia shrug

They had only previously been in the World Cup semi-finals in 1966, when they won the title on home soil, and 1990 so Southgate said he was trying to balance his pride in his young team with remembering how rare such chances are.

"The players found it hard to cope with the pressure in that game".

England is waking up to an almighty hangover after Gareth Southgate and his squad crashed out of the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night. But for Walker, a bronze medal still has value.

That tweet, by player Marcus Rashford to his coach Gareth Southgate, summed up what a lot of English fans are feeling this morning following their team's World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia. "I thought that might be the turning point for us".

"I'd be amazed if we didn't learn in the next few days that Kane wasn't carrying an injury since the Colombia game", Neville said on ITV Sport.

The final blow was inflected when striker Mario Mandzukic put the Croatians 2-1 ahead in the 109th minute to send them through to the final.

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Much of the talk was about whether finishing first or second in Group G would open up easier games.

Croatia's World Cup final opponents, France, are associated with the words "formidable" and "dramatic" as well as "lucky".

"It's not something I'm really thinking about, " he said. But once you're here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. "We're still going to be hurting". To be honest, it might even have been the best in my lifetime.

The game ended with England down to 10 players and out of substitutes.

England are heading home, or at least they will after Saturday's third/fourth place play-off against Belgium, which is a complete and utter waste of time.

However, many third-place games have been one-sided, like the Netherlands' 3-0 victory over Brazil in 2014, or a source of trivia, like Turkey's 3-2 win over South Korea in 2002. The Tottenham defender bent his shot from 25 yards over the wall with a shot with his best imitation of David Beckham, the last England player to score direct from a free kick at the World Cup.

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