Gareth Southgate defends Harry Kane from semi-final criticism

Alexander Avilov  Moskva News Agency

They will, however, have to reflect on a glorious opportunity to reach a World Cup final that has been wasted.

England's last appearance at this stage was in 1990 when they lost in a penalty shootout to West Germany in Turin while eight years later, in their first World Cup as an independent nation, Croatia lost to hosts and eventual winners France.

"But equally we want to be a team that's hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals - that was what we've aimed to do in the long term and we've proved that is possible".

England's World Cup has been marked by set piece goals thus far - nine of the team's 12 goals in the tournament have come from free kicks, corners, and the penalty spot.

The French have relied on the attacking brilliance of 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappé while Croatia have depended on Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic to spearhead their attack.

"I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me", said photographer Yuri Cortez, who was positioned next to the pitchside advertising boards.

The loving family came together just moments after Southgate endeared himself to fans again by hugging all of his players on the pitch after the final whistle.

And fans said they believed the key to success was the youthful team's work ethic and pride.

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But not everyone from Bournemouth will be rooting for Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson. Croatia fans walk through a crowd of supporters of team England during a gathering in the city centre.

"Historic day for Croatia!" wrote the government's official Twitter page, posting photos of fans celebrating in Moscow and back home. Federation Internationale de Football Association issued a warning to Vida, who also apologized, noting that his actions had no political implication, and thanked Russia for its hospitality. I don't realistically think any of us did.

The Croatians went into Russian Federation as the 20th-ranked team in the world, but in particular their midfield talents of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic meant they were fancied by many as dark horses for a decent run.

In a sea of England jerseys, there was one lone Croatia shirt in the packed pub - two Croatian fans in total, who embraced in a hug after their momentous win.

Croatia will take on France in their first World Cup final on Sunday afternoon at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

"I've been to lots of failures and I thought this was the time".

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Wasn't to be this time but it's been a great journey that's made the country proud. I've been jokingly saying that football's coming home, but now there's no reason why we can't win it".

"I think they have a good mentality in the team, team spirit which is very important for a tournament". Similar numbers are expected after tonight's game and extra police patrols have been organised.

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