Dalic on the cusp of scripting biggest win

Heather Diaz
July 14, 2018

They have exceeded all expectations, coming agonisingly close to reaching a World Cup final for the first time since 1966.

As a result, the relationship between England's players and supporters has softened.

Harry Kane will likely come home from the World Cup with the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer and a burnished reputation as a feared forward.

"It was a tough game, a 50-50 game, I'm sure we'll look back at stuff we could have done better but we worked as hard as we could".

Despite Kieran Trippier giving England an early lead, Croatia clawed their way back into the game and edged past Southgate's side after extra time.

England are due to fly from St Petersburg to Birmingham on Sunday - the day after facing Belgium in the third-place play-off - and the Football Association has confirmed that there will be no public access for fans, given airport security restrictions.

"It goes to show we're deserved finalists, we want to show the world we play as one and we'll leave everything on the pitch".

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Asked whether he feared that this run to the last four in Russian Federation could turn out to be the peak for his team, Southgate said: "None of us know if that's as good as it gets".

"Meeting and speaking to the players has been a great experience", he said. "We knew set plays might give us a competitive advantage, which they did". We will carry one another.

As on Wednesday after the match, Dalic pointed out that Croatia did not have a stadium suitable to host England in the new Nations League later this year, an issue that he viewed as proof of the extraordinary feat he had orchestrated. We have this togetherness, this unique unity - not just in football.

"Olivier has done a lot for the team", Matuidi said. "For them to still be singing when we're seeing friends and families, chanting our names and singing the manager's name, is completely different", he said.

By now we should all be well aware that Luka Modric is not human, but his running stats from the World Cup only further highlight what a special player he is. I'm not looking for eight years by the way but internationally you have to wait every two years.

Belgium has never finished better than fourth at the World Cup.

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