Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

Waistcoat sales have increased back in England

Gifted a relatively soft draw by the early exit of a number of traditional World Cup superpowers, England reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 1996, when Southgate was part of the team.

Gareth Southgate's emerging side were 45 minutes away from England's most significant game in 52 years as the voices of their supporters rose in an expectant roar inside the vast Luzhniki Stadium.

"Did we expect to be in this position?" Southgate asked after the game.

"They've got a good side, they've improved over the years, but I look at England at the moment and think we've got a fantastic side".

Many fans had their heads in their hands, while others shook their heads in disbelief.

Travelling fan Joe Settle, 62, and his son Andrew, from Bolton, said they couldn't miss the chance to see England in the semi final.

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.

When England don't have the ball, they struggle against teams who are comfortable with it.

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"Croatia have some hardened warriors that are mentally strong in their decision making and in their understanding of the matches, at times that came to the fore".

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, told the Three Lions the whole country is behind them.

"Having said that, what I will say is that I am remarkably proud of the group of players that have really advanced". "If we win I really want to be there, but I just can't afford the prices being quoted". "But when you're in charge of the game and have the chances we had, you have to take a second goal at that point".

England coach Gareth Southgate said his team set a "new benchmark" by narrowly falling short of a place in the World Cup final.

He added; "I think it's going to be very tight, Croatia are not going to be a pushover, by any means". It's a more vibrant team, one with greater self-belief. Suddenly, England looked like the exhausted ones. Two played with half a leg.

"All played out": Southgate hugs Pickford amid the mass of gloomy England players and staff, but the i Paper sport section leads on Kane's words rallying his teammates to use the experience as fuel for future tournaments.

- Make your daily ESPN FC Match Predictor picks! There's a lot we could have done better. We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go.

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