Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

England hurting for third-place playoff at Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup

England hurting for third-place playoff at Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup

Jubilant Croatian fans honked their auto horns and let off fireworks while England fans sobbed and looked to the future with confidence after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor took Croatia to its first World Cup final.

Croatia take on England in the second semi-final of the World Cup. "I would play a final without a leg if necessary".

Frenchman Lloris, whose side face Croatia in the final, is favourite to win the prestigious award but whatever happens, the England keeper leaves Russian Federation recognised as one of the best in the business. We've had success at youth level. what we've done over the last few weeks has shown people what is possible, and we've got to use it as a springboard to consistently reach the latter stages of tournaments.

England remain in the tournament and still have to play the third place play-off - dubbed "the game no-one wants to play" against Belgium at 3pm on Saturday, July 14.

Another right full-back, 22-year-old French defender, Benjamin Pavard's inclusion in the French squad for the World Cup drew a lot of criticism from fans across the globe.

"A couple of weeks ago, I would have taken this result", said another England fan.

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When he denied Croatia's Mario Mandzukic at point blank range in the first half of extra-time on Wednesday night, Pickford thought it might prove crucial.

Novak Djokovic is Serbia´s best-known sportsman and an idol in his country, but when the 12-time Grand Slam victor voiced support for the Croatia World Cup team, he was condemned by Vladimir Djukanovic, a lawmaker from the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. In a moment captured by cameras, Southgate - a former player himself who ended up managing the English national team for his first World Cup this year - shared a tender embrace with his wife, Alison, in the empty stands.

He had some words of encouragement for coach Gareth Southgate's team following its 2-1 defeat: "Far exceeded expectations".

"The victory over Argentina, the extra time!" Wide players Perisic and Ante Rebic were pushed into more advanced roles with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic feeding them quickly, while full-backs Sime Vrsaljko and Ivan Strinic got forward more too. Well, I would sacrifice many things!

"It is a very unusual game because it's a fixture for two teams coming off the back of a disappointment, but the game is there and we need to play it", said the Chelsea man.

"The other one is that I know I have played well in the tournament".

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