Southgate delighted with England support after 20 years of hurt


Southgate delighted with England support after 20 years of hurt

England and Croatia are teams that innovated over time but have generally been immutable during the World Cup, sticking to virtually identical starting line ups except for group phase fin·les, after advancement was secure.

England were knocked out of the World Cup on Thursday morning (AEST) after a 2-1 semi-final loss to Croatia, one game short of securing a historic berth in the tournament final.

England's run to the last four, where they will face Croatia, has come as a huge surprise given Southgate's relative lack of experience in management and the fact the team lost to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016. It seems like that may be the case as England are out of the World Cup after being beaten by Croatia. "I think he just said he isn't as confident as everyone else about England winning tomorrow".

"We started slowly, but we showed our character just as in the previous two knockout games when we were a goal down". But once you're here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life.

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England too left Italy 28 years ago feeling that the team featuring Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne could have gone all the way. Their four-nation group was so weak that Southgate could afford to rest his starters after wins against Tunisia and Panama.

But the singing and cheering was silenced in the second half after Ivan Perisic headed home past Jordan Pickford around the 60-minute mark.

The Croatians went into Russian Federation as the 20th-ranked team in the world, but in particular their midfield talents of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic meant they were fancied by many as dark horses for a decent run.

"It was a long time ago, so not too many of us can remember that far back", said midfielder Jordan Henderson, born in 1990.

"We are where we are as a team".

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"We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don't have a proper stadium to play that game". They're playing even better than I expected - getting a score in the first five minutes was cracking.

With England's progression to the semi-finals of the World Cup, streams and physical downloads of the song have increased significantly as the country basks in World Cup fever.

But that wouldn't deter the Duke of Cambridge from supporting his team as they take on Croatia in Wednesday's semi-final.

"We have never won the World Cup so we can't say the same thing, can we?" he concluded.

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