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Croatia yet again showed their magnificent resilience to come from behind and beat England 2-1 on Wednesday as Mario Mandzukic's extra-time goal sent them into their first World Cup final and a possible revenge mission against France.

If England can find a way to subdue Croatia's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic they will take a large step towards the final.

"We've played five hard games and I know they are exhausted but there can't be any excuses", he added.

"'Football's coming home' is a song I couldn't even listen to for 20 years, frankly, so for me it has a slightly different feel", Southgate said Tuesday on the eve of England's World Cup semifinal match against Croatia.

While Croatia have been taken to extra-time and penalties in both their knockout games, England beat Sweden in normal time in the quarter-finals and were able to rest players in their final group game against Belgium.

But while Croatia's superior quality and command of the ball told in the Luzhniki Stadium, their remarkable levels of energy were also key, with this game the third time they have been forced to negotiate extra time in Russian Federation. Harry Kane & Co. will deal with the same disappointment that felled Shearer and Platt, Gazza and Wazza, Beckham and Gerrard.

England had been the ones hoping to make history, in what was their first appearance in the semi-finals in 28 years.

The Three Lions suffered 2-1 defeat to Croatia in extra time despite going ahead within five minutes after Kieran Trippier's superb free-kick.

Croatia is showing the world that their 1998 golden generation - a side that also went to the World Cup semifinal - was not an aberration and that the country can produce top-level soccer talent to compete with the world's best.

Croatia will be especially wary not to give Trippier too much leeway to fire in risky crosses from the right flank.

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Perisic leaped to meet Sime Vrsaljko's curling cross with his left foot and hit it past Jordan Pickford in the 68th minute.

Perisic should have added another when given a great shooting chance but he cannoned the ball against a post as England's defence began to lose shape.

Mandzukic was mobbed by teammates, who jumped on him in the corner and trapped photographers under them in the crush.

4' - Dele Alli brought down just outside the box for a great chance for England to score at the top of the box.

Croatia did their confidence little good in the 22nd minute when Danijel Subasic's poor kick went straight to Raheem Sterling, who found Harry Kane, but he ultimately shot wide after straying offside.

Here is how social media reacted to Croatia's victory and England's exit at the World Cup semifinals.

England have been knocked out of the World Cup after Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandžukić's goals denied the opener from Kerian Trippier.

But Southgate thinks talk of that handing a physical advantage to England is being overplayed.

The Guardian back page leads on Southgate hailing the potential of his young England side.

Vrsaljko cleared a John Stones header off the line midway through the first extra period.


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