Steven Gerrard says England will beat Croatia and are a 'dangerous' team

England's forward Harry Kane applauds at the end of their 2018 World Cup quarter-final match against Sweden at the Samara Arena in Samara

But in the end, it wasn't enough.

"We created some good chances being 1-0 up, there are lots of ifs and buts and it is hard in these games, it is small margins and it went their way today".

"Did we feel we would be in this position?" Southgate asked after the game. We can knockout games and we can get to semifinals but the next step is to go one further.

'But when you've got to this point and we've played in the way we have, and as well as we did in the first half, then you want to take those opportunities in life. There had been huge optimism during the day that while France in the final would be a tough proposition, there was little doubt that England would make it.

Mario Mandzukic's goal gave Croatia the lead over England in the second period of extra-time.

First, look at the team.

Jones snatches dramatic win in crash-filled Daytona race
Then Willam Byron would overtake the lead on the ensuing lap. "It was a lot of hard work to be here", he said of Victory Lane. I'll take the credit for my team, and we'll go to Talladega and we'll wreck everybody that throws a bad block like that".

England's devastated players could barely drag themselves off the turf as they slumped in front of their fans at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

From Southgate's perspective, though, a third-placed finish will add to the sense of achievement and pride and at least allow England to leave Russian Federation on the high most will agree they have deserved.

The Croatian players were quick to tend to Cortez.

"We take it on the chin, we move on".

If you've been following the World Cup, particularly England's performance in it, perhaps you've heard the chant: "It's coming home, it's coming, football's coming home".

Southgate has rebuilt the England team since their abject failure at Euro 2016, when Roy Hodgson's side were humiliated by Iceland in the round of 16. It's a more vibrant team, one with greater self-belief. Southgate has found a formation that works, and his defence is one that can give England a solid platform for the future, but the midfield needs work and new players.

Pogba dedicates France semi win to rescued Thai boys
And the 19-year-old was overwhelmed at the thought of helping France reach the final in his first appearance at a World Cup . But FIFA said it had been informed "that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow".

After watching their team stumble at major tournaments for decades, often falling to much smaller nations, England supporters had begun to think that 2018 might be a different story. The way they've represented their country has been exemplary.

He also said that he would be flying to Russian Federation to watch the final, adding: "I'm just waiting on my visa". As we reflect there will be a lot more positives but tonight it is hard to take.

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are".

The team has already grown remarkably in just two years, and that growth seems certain to continue.

George Lee, 59, from Hull, also backed Southgate's young team to get to the final, predicting a 2-1 win. That's what we aim to do in the long term.

"Most of our players were not at the Euros".

Croatia plots 'football Brexit' as England World Cup semi looms
Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

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