Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

England's inexperience shows as World Cup dream is dashed

England's inexperience shows as World Cup dream is dashed

England's players react after losing their FIFA World Cup semi-final match to Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2018.

Croatia was supposed to be a exhausted team coming into the match.

As always, Croatia have shown fantastic spirit and belief, coming through extra time in three matches and battling back superbly after a wretched first half against England when they should have been put out of the game.

"Whatever happens on Wednesday evening, England are now being taken seriously".

"They have played well enough to progress, and upped their game over the past several games".

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic scores their second goal in their 2-1 win in their semifinal against England.

England had been the ones hoping to make history, in what was their first appearance in the semi-finals in 28 years.

5' GOAL! Croatia 0-1 England: A dream start for England! Suddenly, England was rattled and Croatia was resurgent.

Perisic almost scored a second goal just minutes later, as he latched onto the ball following a defensive lapse before striking the post with his shot. Ivan Perisic scored with a very clever finish after 68-minutes, and England began to look rattled.

But the goal stood, and it energized the Croatian players. They did England proud and they will likely be back. Including extra-time, Dalic's side has now scored at least two goals in five of their last six games.

Croatia took over the match after the equalizer and England rarely produced any scoring threats the rest of the way as the midfield of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic had the Three Lions running in circles. Perisic shifted the ball on to his left foot and smashed a shot across Pickford.

It turned out to be the winning score.

Since 1998, Croatia have endured disappointments at major tournaments themselves, notably losing on penalties to Turkey in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. But this English team won't be returning from Russian Federation with the proverbial tail between the legs.

"So we can hold our heads up high but of course we know it's an opportunity that on another day we could have done even more", he added.

"But we handled it well, but unfortunately we conceded at the wrong time, after that I thought we again picked it up again and done well".

Gareth Southgate's pride was as clear as his heartache after England's remarkable summer came to a halt agonisingly short of the World Cup final. And a respect for manager Gareth Southgate that, according to at least one newspaper, knows no bounds. England is also one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you need to respect that.

Croatia, on the other hand, still has work to do in this tournament.

Perisic, now level with Suker on four World Cup goals, later hit the base of the post, Harry Kane missed a header, and chances came and went for John Stones and Mario Mandzukic in extra time.

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