Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950

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Croatia's strength of character will serve them well in the World Cup final against France, their coach and players said after they came from behind for the third straight knockout match to beat England on Wednesday.

After Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to give Croatia a 2-1 win against England in the semi-final, he ran to a corner of the pitch at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to share his joy with his teammates.

"The dressing room is a hard place at the moment", Southgate said. We have two days to prepare. There's no question about that.

We'll have to see how the teams look when starting lineups post, but for a second time this cup, Belgium is the favorite against England and should continue to be, unless Belgium rests its stars and England players its big boys.

"Of course it is going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to assess everybody and to get everybody mentally back to where we want them for a game like that".

"But that will be the challenge". I don't realistically think any of us did.

"It's impossible to say anything to them that is going to make them feel better at this point". 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.

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"They've had an incredible route to the final".

"We might live in a time where sometimes it's easier to be negative than positive, or to divide than to unite, but England: let's keep this unity alive".

So who would you bring in?

"Heartbreak": The i Paper leads with an image of a dejected Harry Kane at the end of a semifinal that "started so well" only to end "in gut-wrenching despair" and concurs that England will "still return as heroes". It will hurt for a while. "You've made us smile, made us proud, made us believe, every one of you a hero".

Between kick-off and the final whistle the average audience was 24.3m - the highest average audience for a single game ever, according to ITV.

ITV announced that the peak audience for the England match was 26.6 million people, an audience share of 84%.

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