England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on World Cup exit

12 July, 2018, 20:09 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • 'Croatia are the best team we have faced yet' – Southgate on England's semi-final opponents

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a awful penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team.

"So we can hold our heads up high but of course we know it's an opportunity that on another day we could have done even more", he added.

Croatia completed an impressive comeback against Gareth Southgate's side after Kieran Trippier opened the scoring in only the 5th minute at the Luzhniki Stadium.

The Three Lions suffered an extra-time 2-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia in Moscow, after a roller-coaster game which saw England take an early lead through Kieran Trippier, only for a second-half equaliser from Ivan Perisic to take the game to extra time and set up Mario Mandzukic's late victor.

England will now play Belgium on July 10th in the third place playoff match, a game that could see Kane extend his personal goal tally, but is not the game he would have initially wanted to have played in.

Croatia's legs at the start seemed to carry the weight of so many minutes in the knockout stage, and a pressing England went up quickly.

The Three Lions were knocked out at the semi-finals stage by Croatia after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor.

England fell one win short of its goal of reaching the World Cup final, surrendering a 1-0 lead in Wednesday's semifinal against Croatia.


The game went into extra-time but Croatia took the lead with a goal from Mario Mandzukic.

Asked later about his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or, he said: "I am just concerned with the team, with success for Croatia". It wasn't easy, but I think we were physically ready. We should have killed the game before extra time, but this is an fantastic achievement for us, a dream come true.

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

Despite the much-vaunted attack of teenager Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, France's defense proved the difference as they shut down Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku and they showed they will be hard to beat on Sunday.

- Who has the edge in the World Cup final? But we are also strong and we will give everything, leave our hearts and souls on the pitch, as in every game.

'At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat.

However, this time he was far more direct, playing on the last shoulder of the Croatian backline and zooming off towards goal rather than retreating away from it.

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