We left everything out there, says England manager Southgate

England vs Croatia Ashley Young

It was suggested before the game, by Business Insider and even Croatian reporters on Federation Internationale de Football Association, that Croatia would be encumbered because of the back-to-back extra-time matches it had to play ahead of the England game.

Speaking after the World Cup semi-final win over England, Lovren said he had been annoyed about questions related to a poor performance he had for Liverpool against Harry Kane's Tottenham last autumn, while Modric told ITV that "English journalists, pundits from television" had underestimated Croatia.

But just when it looked as if they would become the first team to appear in three shootouts at a single World Cup, Mandzukic struck with a well-taken low shot. It's a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.

Indeed, after getting to the tournament's final four, after reversing a disgusting penalty shootout history, in its round-of-16 win over Colombia, there's a sense of optimism in England about this young, talented and appealing team.

In the 1998 semi-final, two Lilian Thuram goals won the match for France and that was the furthest the Vatreni had gone in the World Cup.

England will play in a World Cup semi-final for the first time since Italia 90, but Southgate insists his life outside of the game will not change if England progress to the final, or even win the tournament.

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Even a late rendition of God Save the Queen failed to rally the 8,000-strong crowd at Castlefield Bowl at the start of extra time. Pogba's defensive discipline will be fully tested by Croatia's midfield creators Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

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"For us as a team, it's another chance to create a small piece of history. It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

The Croatians rallied from behind to win 2-1 in extra time thanks to a goal from Mario Mandzukic. It wasn't easy, but I think we were physically ready.

Having been knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland and failing to win a single match at the 2014 World Cup, optimism was not high heading into Russian Federation.

This stretched the pitch out to England's advantage with the Croatian defenders understandably wary of playing a high line that Sterling's pace could break.

Despite the much-vaunted attack of teenager Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, France's defense proved the difference as they shut down Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku and they showed they will be hard to beat on Sunday. We will see what happens, but success for Croatia the most important.

England had got off to a flying start when Trippier curled a superb free kick into the top corner in the opening minutes.

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