"Don't Look Back In Anger" - England fans' emotional praise following Croatia defeat

Peter Crouch celebrates after pulling England level

It was suggested before the game, by Business Insider and even Croatian reporters on Federation Internationale de Football Association, that Croatia would be encumbered because of the back-to-back extra-time matches it had to play ahead of the England game.

"We can hold our heads up high", said team Captain Harry Kane after the loss.

England manager Gareth Southgate insists his side will face their toughest challenge of the World Cup to date when they lock horns with Croatia in the semi-final.

"There was a spell in the second half when they got the goal and their tails were really up and we had to weather the storm and lost our way a little bit".

It was his first goal for his country, England's 12th of the tournament and ninth from a set-piece, but they should have added more from open play as they revelled in the space they were being given in the first half. It hurts, I don't know what else to say, it hurts.

But moments after the restart in extra-time, tragedy struck as Mario Mandzukic punished a momentary lapse in concentration to score the match-winning goal.

Croatia were a different team after the break, dominating play and looking the better side. Mandzukic scored in extra time to make it Croatia 2-1 England.

"I think in the first half we were really good and maybe we could have got another goal", Southgate told ITV.

Walker insisted England would be motivated to beat Belgium on Saturday and finish third "because they got one over on us in the group stage", and went onto speak about using this World Cup as a platform for future success.

"After the experiences of the matches with Colombia and Sweden and the whole thing, it's probably beyond where we thought we might be able to go, so tonight in the end, we weren't quite there".

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares.

Mario Mandzukic put Croatia ahead after scoring in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, giving the Balkan nation its first ever place in the finals in history, a result that surprised even some fans. Lingard failed to connect with a Kane through ball in 78th, Kane miss-hit a header off a free kick in stoppage time, and Stones' header from a corner was cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 99th.

Gareth Southgate's men threw everything that they had at the Croatians, including - it turns out - an attempt to take advantage of a perceived rule loophole.

The Three Lions managed their 1-0 lead for more than an hour of playing time.

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