Belgium favored in third-place match over England

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

England manager Gareth Southgate says the team dressing room is "a hard place at the moment", after his side went out to Croatia in extra-time in the Fifa World Cup semifinals.

Rising high at the back post to meet another precise free kick from Kieran Trippier, Kane misconnected and the ball bounced wide of the goal.

Nick Ferrari hugs a Croatian following the World Cup defeat.

The Croats, who play France on Sunday, fought back to beat England 2-1 after extra time, securing a first World Cup final appearance.

"We've proved to ourselves that is possible and we've proved to our country that is possible".

The draw at 90 minutes led to a heated extra time period with during which England's Dele Alli and Croatia's Ivan Rakitic almost came to blows. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge. But they gave us pride - and brought the whole nation together": "The Mail uses its front page to focus on the impact England's success at the World Cup has had beyond the world of football.

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"At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat", Southgate said after the loss on Wednesday (NZT Thursday).

"Did we expect to be in this position?"

"I was in Nice to watch us lose too Iceland, I was in Kiev to lose against Italy".

The dwindling glass half-empty crowd will tell you Raheem Sterling does not take his chances, they will point to his England goals record and complain his end product is not good enough.

"It was a very hard game for us", said man of the match Ivan Perisic, who cancelled out Kieran Trippier's early goal with a fine effort of his own. But I'm remarkably proud of a group of players who have really advanced.

History in Turin had its echo in Moscow on Wednesday, and England's scorer 28 years ago, Gary Lineker, was at the Luzhniki Stadium to see it. I think my wife would throw me out if I spent that much. There are a lot of things that have been hugely positive for us.

Romelu Lukaku will nearly certainly start as he needs two goals to overtake Harry Kane and win the Golden Boot. "They've shown remarkable character", Southgate said. "We will be back stronger".

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