Kieran Trippier In Tears As He Realises World Cup Dream Is Over

Rex Christensen
July 12, 2018

France are rightly considered the better side based on how the 2018 World Cup has played out, but Croatia have defied the odds for the past month.

Gareth Southgate's team opened the scoring at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Croatia turned things around and will now face France in Sunday's showpiece finale.

Matt Reece, 25, who works in marketing, said England had far outperformed the low expectations of them when the tournament began. But Ivan Perisic gave them an unlikely lifeline in the 68th minute and Zlatko Dalic's team dominated from there. Suddenly, England looked like the exhausted ones.

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Even in penalties, you wouldn't have counted this England team out.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara. Croatia deserved the victory.

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"It's going to hurt for a while", captain Kane said afterward.

With such a modest population, they are the smallest country to get to a World Cup final since Uruguay back in 1950, and in the modern game it is a staggering achievement.

The years of hurt will go on - and for all the optimism raised by England's deeds in Russian Federation over the last month, there will be a burning sense of missed opportunity that will take a long time to erase. Now is the time to be strong as a group and take the time to reflect on the performance a little bit more over the next couple of days. These Lions have more technical ability and less ego than any English team in memory, and that includes the side that lost a semi on penalties to West Germany in 1990. They were a joy to watch.

"Heroes" There's plenty of sympathy in defeat from The Mirror, which offsets the image of Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli crouched on the turf at the final whistle with the message, "We're proud of you all".

"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", he said (via Sky Sports).

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