Southgate's England to prepare for game they don't want

Football fans at the Watersplash watch England’s quarter-final match against Sweden on Saturday

England play their first World Cup Semi-final since 1990 on Wednesday and may what the outcome be, Southgate is confident that the sensational run of this team will surely be "a great reference point" for English teams of the future. In extra-time nobody wanted to be substituted.

England got off to about as good a start as the team could have hoped for against Croatia in the World Cup semifinal.

"I think the reaction of the supporters to them at the end compared to two years ago tells them that, first and foremost, experiences with England can be positive, that the country are very proud of what they've done and the way that they've played".

"My goal was important because it came at a time when we were dominating", the Inter Milan player said.

On that occasion, the Uruguayans defeated a heavily-fancied Brazil team 2-1 at the Maracana in the final second-stage group game, which effectively served as the tournament's final.

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.

But when the first whistle is blown in the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, Les Bleus will have a clear advantage.

Domagoj Vida and Mario Mandzukic let the young ones join in the post-match celebrations on the Luzhniki pitch.

Croatia will use their defeat in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals to France as motivation in Sunday's World Cup final, says Ivan Perisic.

"Some players played with minor injuries with which they would not have played some other games".

England, meanwhile, "blew our chances", said 17-year-old Josh Ogunde after watching the 2-1 semi-final defeat with friends near Trafalgar Square in central London as the disappointed crowds streamed home. Nobody should be surprised if they do that one more time on Sunday to collect their first major global trophy.

"Maybe (that was) a effect of being ahead and being the least experienced team in the tournament with the chance to get to a World Cup final", he added.

"You have to give credit to Croatia and Dalic", Robson said. But when you've got to this point and played as well as we have. you want to take these opportunities in life.

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