Gareth Southgate gave England staff handwritten notes before World Cup

England beat Croatia 5-1 the last time they met in 2009

England beat Croatia 5-1 the last time they met in 2009

Former Sussex schoolboy Gareth Southgate suffered World Cup semi-final heartbreak after his England team lost 2-1 after extra-time against Russian Federation.

England players were quick to share their pain on social media with fans after the defeat, with captain Harry Kane telling his two million followers: 'It hurts a lot.

"It is a very unusual game because it's a fixture for two teams coming off the back of a disappointment, but the game is there and we need to play it", said the Chelsea man.

But after the game many fans were sobbing while others looked to the future with confidence after their once improbable dreams of a first World Cup final in more than 50 years were dashed by Croatia.

Overall, it's not a surprise Belgium is favored, as it has looked like the better team in this tournament and has more talent.

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

But he lamented England's failure to take full advantage of what appeared an unusually easy route to the final, avoiding most of the heavyweight teams in Russian Federation. We're gutted, we've worked so hard and the fans were fantastic.

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Could Croatia pull off an unlikely upset in the final?

In Moscow, Croatia fans said they were taken aback by their side's win.

Eric Amsalem, a 48-year-old Croatian fan with his face painted in the colours of the national flag said: "It's a small country".

Asked if Croatia could beat France in the final on Sunday, his girlfriend Marina said: "Of course". They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone, so let's embrace this tournament, during the lull before the final grand hurrah and inevitable conclusion.

The front pages are in stark contrast to how England's performance was portrayed in 2014, when the team were knocked out in the group stages - the first time since 1958.

But, for 31 of the 32 teams that qualify for the World Cup every for years, the tournament ends in disappointment, and that's especially true for the teams that lose in the semifinal.

Katich said the World Cup had brought an already-close Croatian community even closer together.

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