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- Harry Kane was left “gutted” by England’s elimination at the semifinal stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- Croatia dumped England out of the tournament after a 2-1 win in extra-time.
- England manager Gareth Southgate said he did not believe his side could have given any more than what they had, but must now rally the team ahead of the third-place playoff on Saturday.
- Read all of Business Insider’s World Cup coverage here.
There will not be many Englishmen more gutted at the national team’s 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinal loss, than captain Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate.
In Wednesday’s clash against Croatia, it was a case of delight to despair, as England threw away a 1-0 lead and allowed Croatia back into the game in the second half, before eventually getting knocked out of the tournament by Mario Mandžukić’s killer blow in extra time.
England striker Kane, who is the World Cup’s top scorer with six goals so far, told ITV after the loss that the team was “gutted” as they “worked so hard.”
He said: “It was a tough, 50-50 game. I’m sure we will look back at stuff we could have done better, but it hurts. It hurts a lot, [and will hurt] for a while.”
Before a ball had even been kicked at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, expectations surrounding the England national team were low. But Kane said the team could “hold our heads held high” as they “went further than anybody thought.”
He added: “We know we have done everybody proud but we wanted to go on and win it, [so] we have fallen a bit short. It hurts, I don’t know what else to say, it hurts. It shows we can be up here. We can win knockout games, and we can get to semifinals, but the next step is to go one further. We have to carry that on. We want more.”
Though England will return to the country without the World Cup trophy, Kane could bring home an individual award as the tournament’s top scorer.
With six goals so far, he is two goals clear of Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, who he will come face-to-face within Saturday’s third-place playoff. Kane is also three goals ahead of France pair Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, who will both feature in the World Cup final against Croatia, on Sunday.
Right now, individual awards may mean little to Kane – but his manager, England boss Gareth Southgate, believes the entire team can feel proud of what they accomplished in Russia.
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Southgate said: “The biggest thing is you could see [from the reaction of] the supporters, you can tell what the players have given and I can’t ask anymore.
“We’ve come an incredibly long way in a short time and the experiences against Colombia, Sweden, is probably beyond where we thought we could go. The team will be stronger [in defeat]. And I don’t think after the six or seven weeks we have been together, that we could have given more.”
Southgate must now rally his side ahead of the third-place playoff against Belgium, the other semifinal loser.
England and Belgium clash at the Krestovsky Stadium Stadium in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, one day before the World Cup final between France and Croatia on Sunday.