Croatia rally to oust England in extra time: How social media reacted

   Paul Gascoigne has urged Gareth Southgate to keep it

GETTY Paul Gascoigne has urged Gareth Southgate to keep it

Because for all the love this young and dynamic England team has earned - and earn it they did - in taking a country badly in need of some good news on the worldwide stage on an unforgettable ride over the last month, reaching their first World Cup semifinal in nearly 30 years, there's no guarantee they'll get a better chance to play for a major title.

Croatia struck back after the break.

It was looking good for England in its quest to reach its first final since winning it all in 1966, after Kieran Trippier scored on a fifth-minute free kick.

The Croatians managed to take over in the second half, when Ivan Perisic flicked in a cross from Sime Vrsaljko, scoring their first goal. Croatia controlled the ball in the middle, and the experience showed, as it out-shot England 22-11 and completed over 100 passes more in the match.

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World Cup Daily: Croatia's dream goes on while England wake up. In this picture, England's coach Gareth Southgate gestures during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 7, 2018.

"In the first half, give them credit they did play relatively well, in the second half bottle jobs".

England almost scored again in extra time on a set piece when Stones' header was cleared off the line by Sime Vrsaljko.

The break refreshed the Croatians and they started the second half with greater energy and objective and, at that stage, Southgate missed the chance to make the change that would enable England to regain control of midfield.

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Crawford was capped twice by the Three Lions in the early sixties and played on the same pitch as all of the triumphant England team of that era at some stage or another during a near fifteen-year career in the game. Luka Modric and Co. will be a formidable opponent for France.

"Until they scored [the equaliser] we were always under cosh", Kane said. When we look back we will think there's stuff we could have done better.

England too left Italy 28 years ago feeling that the team featuring Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne could have gone all the way. They topped an extremely hard group that included perennial title contenders Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria. With the French awaiting them in the final, and surely watching the match, the teams will want to put on a show. They were a joy to watch.

"We wasn't talking about the final, we were just having a laugh with you". Their four-nation group was so weak that Southgate could afford to rest his starters after wins against Tunisia and Panama.

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In Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, Croatia have arguably the best midfield in Russian Federation and the presence of star strikers Mario Mandzukic and Ante Rebic add some added force upfront. Mandzukic ghosted in behind the English defence, who momentarily lost concentration, and the Juventus man hammered home a historic strike to send his country into their maiden World Cup Final.

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