England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on World Cup exit

Theo Walcott

Jubilant Croatian fans honked their vehicle horns and let off fireworks after their football team came from behind to beat England 2-1 in extra time on Wednesday to clinch a place in the World Cup final against France.

Local fans are now gearing up for the final match against France on Sunday.

"We showed again that we were not exhausted - we dominated the game mentally and physically".

Barely five minutes into the game and Luka Modric brought down Dele Alli on the edge of the penalty area and England took an early lead.

The goal continued the side's astonishing success from set-pieces at the World Cup - they scored nine goals from set-pieces - the most by any team in a single tournament since 1966.

For England, there is no need to look back in anger.

Croatia, who were beaten in extra-time by Portugal at Euro 2016, became just the second team to go to extra-time in three consecutive World Cup games.

Fan footage has emerged on social media showing England attempting to kick-off and score while Croatian players were off the field celebrating their second goal.

As the extra period started Croatia struggled to maintain their intense pressure but continued to threaten the England defense.

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Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic made one change from the side which beat Russian Federation on Saturday with Marcelo Brozovic coming in for Andrej Kramaric.Croatia got off to the worst possible start when in just the 5th minute Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick to the top right corner from just outside the box to give England a 1-0 lead.

Match stats from the Croatia v England Fifa World Cup semifinal in Moscow.

"We've left everything out there, you can look at the goals and the chances, but I don't think over the six or seven weeks we've been together we could've given any more". We can hold our heads up high. It's been a fantastic journey. We have gone further than most people thought we should and we have to try and learn from it.

"But when you've got to this point, and we've played as well as we have, you want to take those opportunities in life". But we've fallen just a bit short.

"It hurts. I don't know what else to say".

Telesport's Juraj Vrdoljak compared Croatia's second-half comeback to an "adrenaline-driven man lifting a truck to save his child".

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares. There will be legitimate questions about how much they have left in the tank.

England boss Gareth Southgate - on the day that was dubbed Waistcoat Wednesday in his honour back home - named an unchanged side to face Croatia, while Zlatko Dalić surprisingly made just one change from the side that beat Russian Federation on penalties in the quarter-final, bringing in midfield Marcelo Brozović for striker Andrej Kramarić.

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