Five reasons it all went wrong for England v Croatia

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England congratulates Jordan Henderson of England after his substitution during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at...

Here is a look at five reasons it all went wrong for England in their World Cup semi-final. Tottenham striker Harry Kane will be full of regret.

Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11,...

England blew a golden chance to reach the World Cup final and were beaten by Croatia after extra-time.

The Three Lions had a dream start after Kieran Trippier's opener, before goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic broke Three Lions' hearts.

Here is a look at five reasons it all went wrong for England.

Harry Kane's missed chance

Trippier's goal set England off to a perfect start and they should really have killed the game off.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane had the chance to do so, missing a one on one, and then striking a close range rebound against the post.

Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Harry Kane of England look dejected following their sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium...

A goal for Kane here would have made it 2-0, and changed the game completely.

This is the one fans will replay and wonder 'what if?', and Kane no doubt will be kicking himself too.

Negative substitutions

Gareth Southgate's go-to substitution was to bring on Eric Dier through the tournament and this was not the right one against Croatia, upon reflection.

Dier offered England nothing going forward and Southgate would have been better off bringing on the more versatile and dynamic Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Tiredness strikes

One of the problems for England was that they simply tired, and Croatia's quality in midfield made the difference.

Jesse Lingard of England is challenged by Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozovic of Croatia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki...

England closed down Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic early but as the game went on they took over, and England started looking sloppy in defence too.

A defensive mix up nearly let Ivan Perisic in to score a second, while tiredness also affected goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's kicking and England's ability to keep possession.

Lack of experience

Part of the reason the public were so enthused by this England team was their youthful exhuberance and inexperience.

Yet on the big stage, they failed to deliver, and fluffing the chance to reach their first final since 1966.

It is hard to hold this against the England players, but it was undoubtedly a factor, and at future tournaments if the core of these players remain, they will be more prepared for these type of games if they are fortunate enough to get there.

No cutting edge from midfield

Time for some statistics. England had only two shots on target, to Croatia's seven.

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England congratulates Jordan Henderson of England after his substitution during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at...

England's midfield were not creative enough, with Kieran Trippier creating as many chances (4) as Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson did combined.

The midfield quartet did not manage a shot on target between them, and England simply needed more, and despite their efforts, subsitutes Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy contributed no shots or key passes.

They lacked a driving force able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and lead the team to victory and by time 2022 comes around, the Three Lions need to find a player capable of stepping up.

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