But Croatia came out for the second-half on top of the Three Lions, and equalised with a goal from the outstanding Ivan Perisic.
Kane became just the third England player to hit a World Cup hat-trick in the 6-1 rout of Panama, joining Lineker and Geoff Hurst, the star of the 1966 final victory over West Germany. "We're very proud of what we have achieved but I said at the start of this tournament, we are all winners - we want to win everything we do", he explained. The 24-year-old added: "This will hurt and it's not every World Cup you get to play in a big game like this and it's going to hurt for a while".
"This will hurt for a while but we can hold our heads up, it's been a fantastic journey but we've got to learn from it and take what we can". We're gutted, we've worked so hard and the fans were fantastic.
"We were really comfortable in the game", said England defender Harry Maguire, who twice rose highest at corners in the first 15 minutes to send headers wide of Croatia's goal.
"We're looking forward to finishing strong and whatever happens we can say we're proud of each other", said Kane.
He scored six goals in the competition but squandered two golden chances tonight.
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England were arguably guilty of wasting a number of chances in the first half but they thought they'd won it in extra time when John Stones' header from a corner was cleared off the line. "We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball. There are a lot of ifs and buts, in these games it's small margins". "The only disappointment was that we were 1-0 up, and we should have been more".
"I'm sure we lacked in some areas, there are things we could've done better".
Hurst believes Gareth Southgate's side can match their finest hour and go all the way in Russian Federation, and Kane admits the support from such England greats is further incentive to succeed.
"But we've fallen a bit short".
"We've got to dust ourselves down and go again in a couple of years".
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