The latest chapter of England’s cavalier World Cup adventure saw them face on Wednesday night a Croatia team equally surprised they’ve managed to reach this stage of the competition, and equally eager to maximise arguably their greatest ever opportunity to reach a World Cup final.
And maximising the opportunity of a lifetime is exactly what Croatia did. After Kieran Trippier’s brilliant free-kick in the early stages of the game put England in front, Ivan Perisic scored in the second half to send the match to extra time before Mario Mandzukic netted the winner. A World Cup final against France now awaits Zlatko Dalic’s men, while England’s ‘it’s coming home’ dream is left in tatters.
Gareth Southgate’s young lions, though, can still be proud after exceeding many people’s expectations by reaching the semi-finals. Trippier and Jordan Pickford, in particular, put in commendable performances versus Croatia and were unlucky to be on the losing side.
So, England fans, which players impressed you the most – or the least – against Croatia? Let us know by taking part in the poll below and giving each of those involved a performance rating out of ten…