Dele Alli, Lingard blamed for England’s loss to Croatia

England

Souness suggested England's World Cup ambitions were shown up against the first good team they came up against in the tournament, as he suggested Southgate didn't have the right players on the field to beat Croatia.

In capital Zagreb, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain.

Rashford, who came on soon after Croatia equalised, has paid tribute to Southgate for leading England on a World Cup campaign which made the country fall in love with its national team again. Prior to 2018, Croatia's best finish in the tournament was third in 1998, when Golden Boot victor Davor Šuker led Croatia past The Netherlands in the third-place match.

In the aftermath of the defeat, supporters have moved to thank the team for restoring pride.

If they had beaten Croatia, England would have reached only their second World Cup final.




"We had hoped [for this] and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Croatia fan Ivan Kecerin. "Everyone was nervous, but when they got a second goal, everyone took so much confidence, everyone was up in the air, the club was full, there was a great atmostphere".

The Daily Telegraph said losing to Germany was "England's worst World Cup defeat". No-one believed before the World Cup that we could go this far, but we believed. I don't realistically think any of us did.

Mario Mandzukic scored a poacher's goal in the 109th minute, latching onto Perišić's flick to put Croatia ahead and into their first ever World Cup final.

Reassured by positive reports from the tournament and inspired by the unexpected progress of their team, some England fans have raced to Russian Federation in recent days, with extra match tickets released by organizers FIFA and additional seats provided on Moscow-bound flights from Britain.

Kyle Walker reacts at the final whistle: the England players were "absolutely gutted", he said.

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