It's not coming home

England's midfielder Jordan Henderson has recovered from his injury against Sweden in the World Cup quarter-final and should be fit to play Croatia in the semis

An early England goal had Three Lions fans dreaming of a World Cup Final appearance.

But Croatia, having won on penalties against Denmark and Russian Federation in the last two rounds, saw the game out, dousing the World Cup dream of Gareth Southgate's team that had gone from the improbable to the possible over the last month in Russian Federation.

1 - Croatia are the first team to avoid defeat after trailing in three knockout matches at a single World Cup.

"Someone mentioned it the other day to us", Henderson said with a smile.

"They of course have a very strong midfield so, (it is about) denying them space and making sure awareness of distances and coverage of the pitch is correct and (knowing) the right moments to press", he said. "God willing, we will be world champions".

Croatia have defeated England 2-1 after extra-time, moving on to play France in Sunday's World Cup final.

The much younger, faster and less worn out looking England side continued to cause Croatia problems going forward and also doubled their lead but a great Danijel Subasic save kept it at 1-0.

"In the first half, give them credit they did play relatively well, in the second half bottle jobs".

Harry Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic and forced the rebound against a post while Raheem Sterling was a constant thorn in the Croatia defense.

The best chance for a second goal, however, was wasted by an unmarked Jesse Lingard when he curled wide when a goal looked certain.

England does not boast of big names this time but there is a sense of bonhomie among the players and in Southgate, they have a coach who understands them.

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Perisic leaped to meet Sime Vrsaljko's curling cross with his left foot and hit it past Jordan Pickford in the 68th minute.

As well as scoring, Perisic also hit the post for the second straight game and set up Mandzukic's victor, heading a poor clearance toward the Juventus striker to score.

After John Stones had an attempt cleared off the line, the Manchester City man then fell asleep for a second and Mario Mandzukic pounced to fire Croatia into the World Cup final.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored the victor in the 109th minute, sweeping home a left-foot shot after England had allowed him too much space in the penalty box.

"This is a miracle".

"It's tough, we're gutted", said England's captain and the tournament's current top-scorer Harry Kane.

'We wasn't talking about the final, we were just having a laugh with ya.

"The boys have worked hard enough to get to this point now go have fun and bring it home..."

"For us as a team, yes, it's another chance to create a small piece of history". "There's a lot we could have done better".

ENGLAND have taken an early lead in their semi-final match against Croatia.

"We are just going to stick with what we have been doing all the way through". "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added. We win as a team.

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