Fans in Moscow devastated after England knocked out by Croatia

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England fans were left heartbroken after Mario Mandzukic's extra time goal ended final dreams.

"After 1998 [when Croatia lost to France in the semifinals], this is the best team for Croatia at a World Cup, and I believe they will win in the final".

France will have 24 hours longer to prepare for the game after edging out Belgium 1-0 in 90 minutes in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

England will play Belgium in the third-place match on Saturday, so there's still a chance that Southgate and the team won't walk away totally empty-handed.

It's been a thrilling tournament in Russian Federation but one pundit has known for some time that England would lose to Croatia in the last four.

Croatian cabinet ministers held a session wearing national football shirts in Zagreb on Thursday, after the country's team reached their first-ever World Cup final, following a 2-1 victory over England the day before.

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Given they arrived in Russian Federation as rank outsiders, however, Southgate was invited to detail the positives from a campaign that appears to have repaired the strained relationship between England and its team. This will be a close game, but Varane and the French backline given them enough of an edge to suggest they can stifle Croatia, and then wear them down to generate a result, a result that leads to lifting the trophy for 2018.

The semi-final between England and Croatia took place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, the giant 80,000-capacity venue which will also host Sunday's grand final.

VAR has helped officials for the first time at a World Cup and the standard has generally been high through the tournament.

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

But Dalic is confident fatigue will not be an issue for his side. Three games an the U-17 World Cup in 2013 preceded a call-up the following year for the World Cup in Brazil, where Pitana supervised four fixtures, including France v Germany in the quarter-finals.

"We have two days to prepare".

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