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Marcus Rashford's heartfelt message to Gareth Southgate after England World Cup heartbreak

12 July 2018

Jamie Redknapp delivered a criticism of Tottenham ace Dele Alli for his England display in the World Cup. The two teams played in the final group stage match with reserves, with Belgium winning 1-0 and earning placement into the tougher side of the knockout bracket as a result.

"It's been an incredible run and I feel lucky to have been here for this match".

"The dressing room is a very hard place at the moment".

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"We were really comfortable in the game", said England defender Harry Maguire, who twice rose highest at corners in the first 15 minutes to send headers wide of Croatia's goal. After the strangely subdued atmosphere of the quarter-final victory against Sweden in hard-to-reach Samara, the atmosphere inside the tournament's biggest stadium was electric.

The Three Lions had a dream start to their first semifinal since 1990, with Kieran Trippier netting from a free kick in the fifth minute.

But England's performances in Russian Federation have been met with joy back home with Southgate credited with bringing the love of worldwide football back into the hearts of many back home - a view shared by England forward Rashford.

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While semi-final tickets remained relatively affordable before the game, going for between £300 and £800 from touts and online resellers, the market for final tickets was already at several times face value. I think it is too easy to move on immediately from what we've just been through. But a second-half goal from Ivan Perisic and an extra-time victor from Mario Mandzukic ended England's dream of reaching the final and winning a second World Cup for their country. It's a decision he will not now have to make.

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.

The Croatians overcame an even bigger demographic difference in the quarter-final, beating Russian Federation - a nation of around 145 million - on penalties. Every time he touched the ball on Wednesday evening, the home crowd made themselves known, whistling furiously.

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Marcus Rashford's heartfelt message to Gareth Southgate after England World Cup heartbreak