Here's the most painful part of England's World Cup semifinal loss

Didier Deschamps congratulates his players after they reach the World Cup final

But Zlatko Dalić's side equalised in the 68th minute through Ivan Perisic and bossed the game from then on, before Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic popped up with the victor in the second half of extra time to send Croatia into their first ever World Cup final.

"A kick in the Balkans": The Metro references Croatia as England's tormentors with a pun but insists Southgate's men are "still our heroes". His first goal for England.

And, like England fans, the Twittersphere went absolutely insane for the Tottenham player.

England's 1-0 advantage did not reflect their superiority and Croatia, looking jaded in mind and body after knockout wins on penalties against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation, were off the pace.

At England's first two group games there were only about 2,000 fans present each time, but as fears of hooliganism and violence in Russian Federation have so far proved unfounded, and Gareth Southgate's team have progressed further in the tournament than most expected, the dash to Moscow commenced. And while the young Lions - tied with Les Bleus as the greenest in the whole tournament - barely threatened for most of the next hour, it felt like Trippier's early strike would hold up against a exhausted team that had played nearly another full match in winning its first two knockout games from the penalty spot.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said their extra-time victory was deserved and his players were not yet finished despite playing a lot of football in the past three rounds.

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.

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"Croatia came on strong and they have some outstanding players and some huge experience". They're a likable group with a likable manager, and they can really play.

But Raj Singh, a Canadian who supports England because he has relatives in Britain, said the team may have passed up their best opportunity in a lifetime to reach a World Cup final. They have personality as players and as a team. "It's more than I ever expected, to be honest, so it's pretty good". They won their first World Cup penalty shoot-out.

Yes, the conclusion had a familiar ring - but there was enough that was fresh and hopeful for the future that England's World Cup can be judged as a success.

Lukaku would need a fantastic performance against England in the third-place play-off to nudge Kane off top spot. Nobody wanted to give in.

It could also be the final act in the battle for the Golden Boot between Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku.

He added: "You should hold you heads up high".

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