England captain Harry Kane hailed the country’s “fantastic journey” after their World Cup dream came to an end in Moscow last night.
It all looked positive for the Three Lions when Kieran Trippier netted with a stunning early free-kick, but England’s failure to turn first-half possession and chances into a much-needed second goal ultimately cost them.
Goals from Ivan Perisic levelled and Mario Mandzukic clinched a 2-1 extra-time win for Croatia, to secure a place in Sunday’s final against France. Kane said: “It’s tough. We’re gutted, we’ve worked so hard and the fans were amazing.
“It was a tough game, a 50-50 game, I’m sure we’ll look back at stuff we could have done better but we worked as hard as we could.
“This will hurt for a while but we can hold our heads up, it’s been a fantastic journey but we’ve got to learn from it and take what we can.
“We created some good chances, being 1-0 up we got a little too deep at times and didn’t get enough pressure on the ball.
“There are lot of ifs and buts. In a lot of games it’s small margins and it went their way today.
“Until they scored we were always under the cosh, then when they scored we picked it up again. But they played well and made it difficult for us. “It’s been great to get to this stage but we wanted to go on and win it.
“We felt we were good enough but have fallen just a bit short. “This shows we can be up there, win knockout games and get to semi-finals. The next step now is to go one (step) further.
“We’ve built a great foundation and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved – but we want more. We have to dust ourselves down, be proud of what we’ve achieved and go again in a couple of years.”