Kane 'gutted' as England's World Cup dream dies

Croatia vs England Key battles for World Cup semi-final

The Barcelona midfielder was key alongside Luka Modric as the first-time finalists came from behind at half-time to win, thanks to an extra-time goal from Mario Mandzukic.

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a disgusting penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team.

He said: "It was a tough, 50-50 game".

Before a ball had even been kicked at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, expectations surrounding the England national team were low.

"We can hold our heads up high", said team Captain Harry Kane after the loss. It hurts, I don't know what else to say, it hurts. It shows we can be up here.

"After the experiences of the matches with Colombia and Sweden and the whole thing, it's probably beyond where we thought we might be able to go, so tonight in the end, we weren't quite there". We have to carry that on.

"England have reason to cry because they were so close to [reaching the World Cup final], but they have also have reason to be optimistic", Manchester United boss Mourinho told RT.

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Let's hope Wrighty and Keano are sat next to each other on the plane home from Russian Federation . Keane responded saying England should have taken the tournament "one day at a time".

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Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer.

Right now, individual awards may mean little to Kane - but his manager, England boss Gareth Southgate, believes the entire team can feel proud of what they accomplished in Russian Federation.

"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup". We should have killed the game before extra time, but this is an awesome achievement for us, a dream come true.

Southgate said the players were deeply disappointed, but that his young team could achieve great things in the years to come, with the European Championship just two years away. "I think we've built a house here now on good foundations", he said.

Southgate must now rally his side ahead of the third-place playoff against Belgium, the other semifinal loser.

Although Walker described the players as "absolutely gutted" to miss out on a place in the World Cup final, he said they could take great encouragement from the emotional scenes at the end of Wednesday night's defeat against Croatia, when England fans showed their respect for the team's performances in Russian Federation by staying behind to applaud the players and singing their names.

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