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Luka Modric slams English media following Croatia win

12 July 2018

But the untelevised footage certainly showed the extent England were willing to go to score against Croatia to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Suddenly, Croatia was dominant, crowding England's box again and again, with the English squad scrambling to prevent Croatia taking the lead.

But Ivan Perisic grabbed the equaliser in the 68th minute, getting an outstretched boot to Sime Vrsaljko's cross and guiding the ball past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

After a goalless first 15 minutes of extra-time, and penalties looking like a big possibility, it was Croatia that ended England's dream of World Cup glory when Mario Mandzukic crept it at the far post to fire home what would ultimately be the victor.

"I think this was our best game".

Southgate claimed England "broke through barriers" during their World Cup campaign in Russian Federation.

"You look at all these England players and a lot of them haven't won a trophy".

"But when you've got to this point, and we've played as well as we have, you want to take those opportunities in life". It hurts, I don't know what else to say, it hurts.

However, they have taken a gruelling route to the final and the French will be warm favourites.

"I've got the bit between my teeth" - Joe Root
This is another opportunity for us to try and replicate those performances, and another opportunity for me to go out and make some big runs.

Modric will feature in a midfield that consists of the likes of Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, while Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Dejan Lovren are just some of the names in a Croatian team expected to be England's toughest test yet. There will be legitimate questions about how much they have left in the tank.

World Cup Daily: Croatia's dream goes on while England wake up.

Perisic's equaliser was all about desire as he charged past Kyle Walker to stab home and Mandzukic punished a dozing Stones by sneaking ahead to slot home the victor.

Mandzukic alertly reacted to the unexpected ball in the penalty area, splitting defenders John Stones and Harry Maguire, who had taken four short steps up.

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

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with teammates during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between Croatia and England. They now have the chance to avenge that loss and become the ninth nation to win a World Cup final.

After the match, England's fans stayed behind to praise their team.

Luka Modric slams English media following Croatia win