MX23RW : Wednesday, November 14 14:03:15

Gareth Southgate: 'England left to rue fine margins in World Cup semi-final loss'

Southgate left to rue
© Reuters
Gareth Southgate is left to rue the "fine margins" which saw England fall to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia in their World Cup semi-final in Moscow.

Gareth Southgate has conceded that "fine margins" separate teams in knockout football as England fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia in their World Cup semi-final.

The Three Lions took the lead in Moscow through a Kieran Trippier free kick, but the Vatreni levelled through Ivan Perisic to send the game to extra time.

Poor defending then allowed the Croats to score the winner, Mario Mandzukic reacting quickly to finish past Jordan Pickford to knock England out of the competition.

"First half we were really good and we had chances," Southgate told ITV Sport. "We lost our way a bit after their goal. Possibly at that moment we were hanging on a bit rather than trying to control the game.

"We got the control back in extra time and showed composure. Knockout football is fine margins. When you have spells in a game against a quality side you have to make them count. We needed a second goal.

"I think we were looking at how we might stem the tide but there weren't clear changes we could make to change it. We just needed to show more composure. We stopped playing for a period of 20 minutes in the second half."

Up next for England is a third-place playoff encounter with Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday.


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Croatia's Ivan Perisic scores the equaliser against England in the World Cup semi-final on July 11, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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