Sad, but proud of what Southgate's boys achieved. For 45 minutes they looked as though not only were they in the final but deservedly belonged there; and probably fully able to go toe-to-toe with a mercurial, powerful and fast France side. Ultimately, those missed chances cost us though. Croatia had the better of the ball from the second half onwards and were more clinical - despite the toll of their extended previous games. Modric showed just how good a player he is, in terms of skill, attitude and influence.
If we were going to lose before the final, then this was the best way: uncontroversial, and to an excellent team from a proud country desperate to reach a tournament final for the first time in their history.
Hope that the England team can pick themselves up for the 3rd/4th place play-off and finish the tournament with a win - and also to build upon what they achieved here.
I've watched every World Cup and European final since 1994. With the exception of' 96 I've felt that those finals (and perhaps indeed the tournaments as a whole) were better off without England in them, such were the team's play, surrounding hype/silliness, and the fan trouble that almost inevitably accompanied wherever they were playing. This time around I feel very differently.
Reaching semi-final was totally unexpected and very impressive result!
Still have England (1st squad) vs. Belgium (1st squad) game to look forward in this World Cup
Ah well. That 45 minutes of the semi-final against Croatia appeared to be all we had left in the tank in the end.
But what a fitting final to a tournament that had plenty of goals and drama! :robotsurprised: :robothappy: #bringingtherain
Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this World Cup! As an England supporter, that Colombia last-16 match was an amazing emotional rollercoaster - which thankfully for England ended in both joy and a kind of catharsisis. Beyond the England stuff there were many, many highlights throughout the World Cup; but the standout for me was South Korea beating Germany - and the way that the Koreans celebrated the genuine joy of the moment and completely forgot that they were knocked out of the tournament themselves.