Kane ‘gutted’ as England’s World Cup dream dies

The Tottenham full-back's free-kick gave England an early lead in their World Cup semi-final against Croatia

Kieran Trippier's early free-kick put England on course for their first final since 1966, but Southgate's men will not be able to replicate Sir Alf Ramsey's heroes after Croatia staged a fightback to instead face France this weekend.

But a place in the World Cup final against France was not to be.

'In the second half we had to weather the storm a bit. "I reckon there's a lot we could've done better". But the team will be stronger for it.

"We want to be a team who are hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals". That's what we aim to do in the long term.

"We've proved to ourselves that is possible and we've proved to our country that is possible".

"Now we have a new benchmark, a new level of expectation, a new scenario".

They will meet a French team which eased past Belgium 1-0 in their semi-finals, and which boasts a population difference of around 62 million people more than Croatia.

I don't think any of them could have given any more. "We have had a fantastic journey, further than we thought", he added. For me, that's what sport should be about.

For the fourth time since the mid-1990s England were knocked out of a tournament after taking a lead in the first five minutes: they led Germany in the third minute at Euro 1996, Portugal in the third minute at Euro 2004, Iceland in the fourth minute at Euro 2016 and Croatia in the fifth minute last night. The players have played and conducted themselves in a manner that has absolutely done that. I'm sure everybody will be looking forward to it.

In the end, it was not to be, though amid the disappointment there was also a feeling that the tournament was still something to savour, the first such World Cup for a long time.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

"70 minutes we battered them".

"So, the dressing room and all of the staff is (in) a very hard place at the moment".

"We managed to get through that and regain our composure". They won their first World Cup penalty shoot-out. Few are as accomplished as Croatia, even when they are on the brink of exhaustion following two successive penalty shootouts, and as England ran out of ideas, Luka Modric was able to pick holes in their defensive lines time and again.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, told the Three Lions the whole country is behind them.

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