Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Gareth Southgate dismisses claim Harry Kane played with injury against Croatia

Gareth Southgate dismisses claim Harry Kane played with injury against Croatia

Dalic thanked Croatia's fans and players for their efforts in securing this historic win, setting up Sunday's encounter with France - the team that knocked them out of their previous World Cup semi-final in 1998.

And then there's Gareth Southgate.

Kane missed two golden chances in the space of five seconds in the first half, which would have put England 2-0 up and was virtually anonymous from the second half onwards.

They're set to meet a French side that's fully healthy after more or less strolling through the knockout phase of this tournament.

"They've got a good side, they've improved over the years, but I look at England at the moment and think we've got a fantastic side".

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"What our players did today, the strength they've shown, the stamina, the energy levels".

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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.

- "Brought everyone together" - For some, England's success in reaching the last four has brought a much-needed sense of unity in a country still wracked by divisions over Brexit. It's a more vibrant team, one with greater self-belief.

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"This is the first time in my life England have made it anywhere near this far", said 23-year-old Murad Huseynov, draped in a red and white St George's flag.

"We played a high press on their backline".

The years of hurt will go on - and for all the optimism raised by England's deeds in Russian Federation over the last month, there will be a burning sense of missed opportunity that will take a long time to erase.

"Tonight was a wonderful opportunity for us and you can't guarantee those opportunities come again, but we want to be a team who are hitting quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. I told the players before the game there was no pressure - we have reached the semi-finals, enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did". That's what we aim to do in the long term. Many of these players have come of age on an worldwide stage.

"They've done incredibly well, it's the best tournament I've ever watched".

More news: Half time Croatia 0 England 1

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