Profile of World Cup finalists Croatia

England’s starting 11 against Germany in the World Cup

When heartbroken English fans wake up Thursday morning after a long night of crying into their pints, the most hard part of their grief to digest following the Three Lions' 2-1 extra-time loss to Croatia in the World Cup semifinals Wednesday in Moscow will be the unshakable feeling that England had this one in the bag.

The Duke of Cambridge took to the official Kensington Palace Twitter account to speak of his pride in the team.

Crowds gathered at locations including London's Hyde Park, Millennium Square in Leeds, Nottingham Castle, and Birmingham's Archway outdoor cinema.

Police estimated as many as 10,000 England fans could be in the Russian capital for the game, which kicks off at 9pm local time (7pm UK). "I rooted for Croatia, wearing a Croatia jersey, and I could only dream of playing for my country and scoring one of the most important goals to send us to a final", Perisic said. Southgate's men were then beaten in the semi-final at the Luzhniki - Croatia running out 2-1 winners after the teams were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

He added; "I think it's going to be very tight, Croatia are not going to be a pushover, by any means".

'It's really painful at the moment but I'm proud of the players, the way we played and the strides they've taken, ' said Southgate.

Most England fans were gracious in defeat, with one fan saying "Croatia was the better team" on the way out. I couldn't be prouder with what they've done.

Supporters at Birmingham's Archway outdoor cinema screen broke into applause for Southgate's team within a minute of the final whistle.

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"We salute you": It's pretty much a love letter from the Mail's sport section to Southgate and his team.

England head coach Gareth Southgate, center left, embraces England's Dele Alli at the end of the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

"That speaks volumes in itself".

For the fourth time since the mid-1990s England were knocked out of a tournament after taking a lead in the first five minutes: they led Germany in the third minute at Euro 1996, Portugal in the third minute at Euro 2004, Iceland in the fourth minute at Euro 2016 and Croatia in the fifth minute last night.

Chris Treloar, 34, said: "I'm absolutely gutted, especially with the way the goal went in".

"It's been fantastic until now".

Reiss Malone, 33, said: "Overall you've got to look at it, and to get to the semis is a massive achievement and it could be our time in four years". We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go.

Nick Branch, 35, joked: "I'm a West Ham fan so I'm used to disappointment".

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