Too early to take positives for proud England boss Southgate

Brian Botterill giving Gareth the thumbs up in Southgate Road

But he lamented England's failure to take full advantage of what appeared an unusually easy route to the final, avoiding most of the heavyweight teams in Russian Federation.

Kane, who scored six goals in Russian Federation to equal Gary Lineker's record for England strikes at a single World Cup, struggled as Gareth Southgate's side slipped to a 2-1 extra-time defeat at the Luzhniki Stadium that ended their hopes of ending over 50 years of hurt. #ThreeLions."The Asahi Shimbun/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty ImagesSOUTHGATE COMFORTS JESSE LINGARDMANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty ImagesFEELING THE PAINRobbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty ImagesA TENDER MOMENT WITH HARRY MACGUIRE " At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat", Southgate said following the match.

Infogol's Analyst thinks England will score again from a set-piece against Croatia, but who are they backing to score in Wednesday's semi-final.?

Southgate's team made a fine start to their quest to become the first England side to reach the final in 52 years but faded in the second half before going down 2-1 to the Croatians after extra time at the Luzhniki Stadium.

A collection of front pages after England loses to Croatia in the World Cup. "They can see we are capable of progressing".

In Zagreb, the capital, tens of thousands of people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rainy weather.

Loud cheers rang out after each goal, fans waved the red and white national flag, and after the final whistle Croatian TV showed wild celebrations breaking out in towns and cities.

Croatia will be hoping to avoid that fate when they take on France in Moscow on Sunday.

Eric Amsalem, a 48-year-old Croatian fan with his face painted in the colours of the national flag said: "It's a small country. Everybody has come. It's the best feeling in a long time". "Croatia deserved to win", Mark Burcher, 50, said.

England's valiant effort also drew praise from Britain's Prince William, who said the team's performance gave fans "something to believe in".

"Three weeks ago, there wasn't even a connection with the England football team".



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