Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Croatian players' kids delight World Cup fans with post-win scratch match

Croatian players' kids delight World Cup fans with post-win scratch match

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".

England coach Gareth Southgate said his team need to "suffer" their loss to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals and understand the opportunity they passed up before pondering the positives from their remarkable campaign.

Fans stationed behind the goal roared as a young boy wearing the Peresic name ran a scintillating line from nearly halfway to score in a packed away net.

The Daily Telegraph said losing to Germany was "England's worst World Cup defeat". There was no animosity at the final whistle and instead thousands of our fans wanted to thank the players for what they have done for everyone over the past month.

The final blow was inflected when striker Mario Mandzukic put the Croatians 2-1 ahead in the 109th minute to send them through to the final.

The game turned in overtime on two plays - one on which a defender was alert, the other on which a defender was caught napping.

We had all got excited and dreamt that it would be us facing France in Sunday's final - but why shouldn't we dream? "We felt we were good enough but have fallen just a bit short". They have given us so much to shout about. I've looked at it every day since - and it was the first thing I looked at when we got back this morning.

England will play Belgium in the third-place match on Saturday, so there's still a chance that Southgate and the team won't walk away totally empty-handed.

Teammates piled in after the man behind the winning goal and Cortez disappeared beneath the team.

As on Wednesday after the match, Dalic pointed out that Croatia did not have a stadium suitable to host England in the new Nations League later this year, an issue that he viewed as proof of the extraordinary feat he had orchestrated.

"We owe it to ourselves to finish well, and we want to finish well for the fans".

"Three weeks ago, there wasn't even a connection with the England football team".

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