England coach Gareth Southgate said his team need to "suffer" their loss to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals and understand the opportunity they passed up before pondering the positives from their remarkable campaign.
"When you get to this stage of the competition, the margins are fine. they've taken two of their (chances) and we weren't able to respond".
The bar exploded after just five minutes when England's Kieran Trippier hit a wonderful free kick into the top right hand corner to give England the lead. They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players. We're taking it step by step.
In capital Zagreb, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain.More news: Vertonghen 'gutted' after semi-final loss
"But we will do that and we'll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work".
England manager Gareth Southgate says he knew that the negative press about Russian Federation leading up to this summer's World Cup would not turn out to be true.
However, the biggest concern looking ahead to Sunday´s game is bound to be fatigue, with Croatia having also required extra time and penalties to come through ties against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation in the past two weeks.
The former Manchester City and Liverpool forward posted an Instagram story of him watching the game with a friend, and the final picture he posted conveyed a message to the England fans who he accused of spoiling his two spells in the Premier League.More news: The man with the world's longest fingernails finally had them cut
"We had hoped [for this] and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Croatia fan Ivan Kecerin. For 70 minutes we battered them. We respected them because we analysed them.
It probably seems like a while ago now, but remember the first match England played against Tunisia? "During half-time, I told the players "calmly pass the ball, do not lose your heads".
In getting to the final, Croatia have surpassed the country's fabled 1998 side. Their route to the final in Russian Federation has included a 3-0 win against Argentina in the groups, with Croatia finishing top of the group.
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". "I don't think realistically we expected to be here". "We played today better than against Argentina".More news: Oil rallies as IEA warns of output capacity limits
"And this is exactly what they did - they enjoyed their football".
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