Exhausted Croatia must draw on reserves for France final

Theo Walcott's hat-trick helped England to a 4-1 revenge win in 2008

Kieran Trippier gave England an early lead only for Ivan Perisic to equalise in the 68th minute and Mario Mandzukic to score the victor in the second period of extra time.

Croatia did not allow England the second goal, which proved to be decisive as they frustrated England who is a team that likes to play attacking football.

And when the pain of this semifinal defeat heals, England can reflect on a campaign that's changed the mood music around the national team. The supporters came together to sing the popular hit Don't Look Back In Anger.

Before a ball had even been kicked at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, expectations surrounding the England national team were low.

England had their fans dreaming of a berth in the final when Kieran Trippier curled a fifth-minute free kick into the Croatia net.

In beating Gareth Southgate's young team, Croatia - taken to extra-time for a third consecutive match - have surpassed the achievements of the heroes of 1998, who reached the semifinals in France.

England players were shattered at the result.

Kane is every defender's nightmare and, with six goals to his name at the tournament, the Englishman is raring to go as the Three Lions look to win their second ever World Cup.

Croatia had been desperately poor, a shadow of the team who carved Argentina apart in the group stage, but started to get a foothold in the game as the match rolled past the hour mark and Luka Modric's influence grew.

There are plenty of big names ahead of England in the betting though, albeit many of them failed to produce this summer with one notable exception.

The loss of control in that area meant Croatia could start to supply the unsafe wide man Ivan Perisic, who might have had a hat-trick. He gives you that confidence, and I think that he needs to take the most credit out of everyone of us. We are probably beyond where we thought we might be able to go.

Mirror posted an image of dejected England players with the word "HEROES" written in big bold blocks, with the bottom line reading: "We're proud of you all..."

Zagreb's main square exploded with joy and wild celebrations after Mario Mandzukic netted the victor in extra time to send his team into the July 15 final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium against France.

"But the team will be stronger for that and as we reflect over the next few days, there will be a lot more positives".

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