Dejan Lovren makes SHOCK revelation after Croatia beat England

LUDVIG THUNMAN  Global Look Press

LUDVIG THUNMAN Global Look Press

Bitter disappointment was mixed with pride for England fans who witnessed the Three Lions' lose their first World Cup semi-final in decades.

Desolation and dreams of what might have been littered the path out of Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, as supporters trudged towards the metro and into the night.

England won their opening game at a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

The Inter winger was named FIFA Man of the Match after a goal and an assist for Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic in extra time, as they fought back from a Kieran Trippier free kick to beat England 2-1 in extra time.

But a place in the World Cup final against France was not to be.

John Ryan, 33, from Coventry, was in the Luzhniki to witness the defeat. It's a awful way to go out of the World Cup.

The aura around England could not be more different to the stale, disunited air that accompanied them away from France two years ago.

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

Dalic praised the attitude of his players against England, some of whom endured 120 minutes with "half a leg". "The whole thing is beyond where we thought we might go".

Jason Kay, 49, also from Coventry, simply added: "See you in four years' time".

But Andy Bradley, 42, from Hull, felt the team had done the nation proud.

But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team.

"We want to be a team who are hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals".

"70 minutes we battered them".

"We take it on the chin, we move on".

"I think that's maybe something for a couple of days time, at the moment we all feel the pain of this defeat", he told reporters.

Josh Quinn, 22, from Bristol, said: "It was a disappointing performance from England".

"I was in Nice to watch us lose to Iceland, I was in Kiev to lose against Italy".

"You've had an incredible #WorldCup, made history, and gave us fans something to believe in".

England's players responded to a standing ovation from those supporters but there was no disguising the pain - or Southgate's determination to remind them of what they have achieved at this World Cup in Russian Federation. There will in time be positives to take, it's very hard now to put that into context, it's a bit too soon, really, because I think you have to suffer the result a little bit. But we aren't going to make excuses.

"Croatia came on strong and they have some outstanding players and some huge experience".

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