England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

France 98 v FIFA 98 Selection- U Arena Stadium Nanterre France- Jun 12 2018 France 98’s Thierry Henry celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates. Reuters

I don't think any of them could have given any more.

France will have had 24 hours longer to prepare for the game after edging out Belgium 1-0 in 90 minutes in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

"We let the centre-halves play".

"I wanted to substitute, but nobody wanted to be subbed".

"It shows our heart, it shows our community and I can not be more proud". We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go.

"We deserved to reach the final". Surely their youth and the extra rest would pay off at some point during 30 additional minutes.

"We played a high press on their backline".

Despite taking the lead early in the first half on Wednesday, England suffered the familiar story of World Cup heartbreak as Croatia equalised in the second half and then claimed the victor in the second period of extra time.

In the end, Southgate feels the extra experience of Croatia's "hardened warriors" made a telling difference, and he was very complimentary of Zlatko Dalic's men. Luka Modric and Co. will be a formidable opponent for France.

But I wonder if we are going to get the game we wanted during the group stage of England's stars against Belgium's stars.

"They've been unbelievable the whole tournament but at the end of the day, it was our best chance ever and we haven't taken it", Reece said.

"We were motivated and what I told these players before the game was "there's no pressure, no nerves, don't lose your head - you've reached the semi-final, be proud and enjoy your football".

Croatia, with a population of just 4.17 million, booked their place in the July 15 final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium by beating England at the same venue 2-1 after extra time on Wednesday night. "There's a lot of ifs and buts".

But Croatia found energy after the break when the game opened up, making England's missed first-half opportunities seem all-the-more significant. "But we have our hearts, our pride and our players and that is what is really important to us".

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