England captain Harry Kane believes the players can be proud of their performance at the World Cup despite losing to Croatia in last night’s semi-final. Kieran Trippier’s stunning free-kick gave England an early lead after five minutes, but Ivan Perisic’s second-half equaliser forced the game into extra-time.
Mario Mandzukic’s cool finish then put Croatia into their first World Cup final where they will face France in Moscow on Sunday. “It’s tough. We’re gutted,” Kane told ITV after the game. “We worked so hard. It was a tough game, a 50/50 game. I’m sure there is stuff we’ll look back on and think we could have done better. We worked as hard as we could. It hurts, it hurts a lot and I’m sure it will hurt for a while. But we can hold our heads up high. It was a fantastic journey. We got further than anyone thought.”
Manager Gareth Southgate thought the failure to press home England’s early advantage ultimately told.
“First half we were really good and we had chances. We lost our way a bit after their goal. Possibly at that moment we were hanging on a bit rather than trying to control the game. We got the control back in extra time and showed composure. Knockout football is fine margins.
“When you have spells in a game against a quality side you have to make them count. We needed a second goal. We just needed to show more composure.”