England’s big World Cup pleasure was proving people wrong, says Kyle Walker

England’s big World Cup pleasure was proving people wrong, says Kyle Walker

England held on despite losing their nerve, but Croatia broke them down once against in injury time when Mario Mandzukic grabbed the victor. "But when we pressed them it turned out that they haven't".

Zagreb daily 24sata wrote: "England had no chance tonight - Southgate's players did not just play against Dalic's footballers but the whole of Croatia. They have to use this experience for benefit and I know that what´s happened over the last few weeks will make them a stronger team".

"It hurts, it'll hurt for a while, but we can hold our heads up high". I'm sure there was stuff we could have done better, but we worked as hard as we could. However, they grew in confidence following Perisic's equaliser and it was England who began to look increasingly tired.

Mario Mandzukic's strike in extra-time sealed it as Croatia played an additional 30 minutes for the third time in a row. "It's unlucky we couldn't bring it home for them, but hopefully there's time in the future".

The Three Lions can be proud of their performance at this summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation. "It's just unbelievable to get back in the game in this way".

Croatia took over the match after the equalizer and England rarely produced any scoring threats the rest of the way as the midfield of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic had the Three Lions running in circles.

Josip Pivaric of Croatia celebrates his Fifa World Cup semifinal win over England.

Defender Vrsaljko was also instrumental, clearing a shot off the line in the first half of extra time as well as setting up Perisic's equaliser.

Mario Mandzukic became Croatia's hero when he put Croatia in front with 11 minutes to go after a great through ball from Pivaric.

Midfielder Modric said the team had been motivated by people saying they would be "tired" after their previous two matches went to penalty shootouts.

Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.

England captain Harry Kane says he believes his side "restored pride in the shirt" after the team's gallant march to the World Cup semi-final, which ended in a 2-1 defeat to Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.