Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

United Kingdom papers salute 'Pride of Lions' after England exit

United Kingdom papers salute 'Pride of Lions' after England exit

Jubilant Croatian fans honked their vehicle horns and let off fireworks while England fans sobbed and looked to the future with confidence after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor took Croatia to its first World Cup final.

England's Kieren Trippier scored an early goal in the 5th, giving the Three Lions a strong lead.

The Croatians become the smallest nation to contest the World Cup final since Uruguay, who won the tournament in 1950 when the nation had a population of around 2.4 million.

The Daily Telegraph said losing to Germany was "England's worst World Cup defeat".

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

It said: "The more I see, the more important it is that when 'attacking this tournament" we tell our own story.

"Cro no": A slightly freaky pun adorns the Star's back page alongside an image of Southgate consoling Pickford after England's "extra-time agony".

"The dressing room is a hard place at the moment", Southgate said.

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Croatia lost that encounter 2-1 before going on to secure bronze - until Wednesday their best performance at a global finals.

"Nobody wanted to give in when I was preparing the first eleven, nobody wanted to say I was not ready in extra time, no one wanted to be subbed and this shows character and what makes me proud".

Southgate said playing regularly in big matches was a key stage of development for his players and that the way they dropped away in the second half was perhaps a result of their inexperience.

Gareth Southgate applauds England's fans after their semifinal loss to Croatia.

With a final score of England 6-1 Panama, there's plenty of great goals to choose from in this match.

Between kick-off and the final whistle the average audience was 24.3m - the highest average audience for a single game ever, according to ITV.

"But equally we want to be a team that's hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals - that was what we've aimed to do in the long term and we've proved that is possible".

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