What could Gareth Southgate have done differently against Croatia?

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

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

The sound was eclipsed only by the joy that greeted Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor and the impromptu fireworks celebration in the wake of the final whistle.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored the victor in the 109th minute, sweeping home a left-foot shot after England had allowed him too much space in the penalty box.

"We're gutted", said Harry Kane, still on course to finish as the tournament's top goalscorer with six strikes in Russian Federation.

"I don't think you can put it into words... the feeling this comes once in a lifetime, if not two lifetimes". As for England, their challenge faded badly after taking the lead in the semi-final and in the end, they simply could not compete against a hungrier Croatia team.

"There's a lot we could have done better".

Click through the mini-gallery above to see pictures of Croatia's celebrations after they qualified for the World Cup final!

England manager Gareth Southgate believes his squad can head home from the World Cup with pride after their semi-final exit. He knows what to say at the right time.

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Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. Trump said he had a "very, very good relationship" with Merkel, who described the two as "good partners".

They will take on favourites France at 1am Monday morning Australian eastern time, while Belgium play England at midnight on Saturday night in the third placed playoff.

It was a different game from then on, with Croatia suddenly playing with accuracy and objective as England lost their shape and composure, though Kane missed a chance to win it in stoppage time when he headed wide from a free kick. The whole thing is beyond where we thought we might go.

Despite the much-vaunted attack of teenager Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, France's defense proved the difference as they shut down Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku and they showed they will be hard to beat on Sunday. Midfielder Perisic was outstanding in the second half and caused England no end of problems. Croatia had been desperately poor but started to get a foothold in the game as the match rolled past the hour mark and Luka Modric's influence grew.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 11, 2018.

Vrsaljko cleared a John Stones header off the line midway through the first extra period.

"I can´t ask for more from the players".

The extra-time defeat will hurt for a long time, England striker Harry Kane said. Yet what Sterling has lacked at this World Cup in goals, he has made up for with his sheer work-rate and intelligent movement in attacking areas of the pitch.

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