England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on World Cup exit

Esequiel Farfan
Julio 12, 2018

Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier of England are dejected following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

England fans stayed after the final whistle to pay tribute to their England heroes following a 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals, belting out Oasis's Don't Look Back In Anger.

"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".

"As I have got older, I have become more conscious that it is easy to avoid challenges and avoid putting yourself on the line", Southgate said during yesterday's press conference in Moscow.

"We've left everything out there, you can look at the goals and the chances, but I don't think over the six or seven weeks we've been together we could've given any more".

A goal in the second half from Ivan Perisic forced extra time, and Mandzukic's strike destroyed England's dream run short, as a team that surpassed expectations and has a bright future failed to really play well after the break. Croatia have hardened warriors whose understanding of big matches at times came to the fore. We know we have done people proud by getting this far, but we wanted to go on and win it. However, we showed again that we are not exhausted, we dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects.

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Gareth Southgate consistently downplayed the euphoria in his team in the build-up, and for a while England gave every indication they were going to take charge of their own destiny, as Trippier found the net with a delightful free-kick in the fifth minute.

England coach Gareth Southgate had spoken of his young side "breaking down barriers" in Russian Federation after their biggest World Cup win and first penalty shootout triumph, but it was Croatia who forced their way into a relatively closed shop as just the 13th different country to progress to the final in 88 years. Rather than celebrating reaching the World Cup final, he's firing shots at England. "It's just unbelievable to get back in the game in this way".

"But we handled it well, but unfortunately we conceded at the wrong time, after that I thought we again picked it up again and done well".

'At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat. England meanwhile, will face Belgium in the third-place match on Saturday.

"Yeah of course [I want to play]".

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