England hold their heads high despite pain of World Cup loss

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen in New York City

World Cup Semi-Final: England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

Even leaving aside the fact they're into the final, the French have trailed in just one match so far.

France will have had 24 hours longer to prepare for the game after edging out Belgium 1-0 in 90 minutes in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

"This is fantastic. Two players played with half a leg, but it didn't show".

"I wanted to substitute, but nobody wanted to be subbed". We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go.

"Tonight was a wonderful opportunity for us and you can't guarantee those opportunities come again, but we want to be a team who are hitting quarterfinals, semifinals and finals".

France doesn't just have the benefit of an extra day's rest.

"We have to play as if this were the first game in this tournament".

Ivan Perisic drew Croatia level and Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 extra-time win to propel the country into their first World Cup final.

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Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russian Federation via a play-off win against Greece.

Prince William wrote from the Kensington Palace Twitter feed that he "couldn't be more proud" of the England players, adding: "You've had an incredible World Cup, made history and gave us fans something to believe in". Southgate has done well to mask his team's flaws and give them a renewed sense of confidence and identity, but the problems that cost them against Croatia were the same that nearly handed victory to Colombia in the round of 16.

Among the best was Marcelo Brozovic, the Inter Milan midfielder brought into the line-up to provide extra steel in front of the defence.

"We played extremely well in the first half, given the size of the game, and I was really pleased with the way we controlled possession", Southgate said.

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.

A packed stadium provided an intense World Cup atmosphere for the game, after thousands of England and Croatia fans had flown into the Russian capital. "There's a lot of ifs and buts".

"Croatia have some hardened warriors that are mentally strong in their decision making and in their understanding of the matches, at times that came to the fore".

The Croatian players were quick to tend to Cortez.

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