The Croatian National team came from behind and upset favored England 2-to-1 in a semifinal match decided in extra time on Wednesday in Moscow. One is that England progressed from a group stage exit in 2014 to a semi-final defeat in extra-time four years later.
England, who were hoping to reach their first World Cup final since their golden year of 1966, will play Belgium in Saturday's third-place match.
But just when it looked as if they would become the first team to appear in three shootouts at a single World Cup, Mandzukic struck with a well-taken low shot.
"It is not a game we wanted to be in".
But Ivan Perisic grabbed the equaliser in the 68th minute, getting an outstretched boot to Sime Vrsaljko's cross and guiding the ball past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
"It´s impossible to say anything to make the players feel better at this moment in time", he said.
It was England´s best performance at a major tournament since Southgate was part of the team that reached the semi-finals at Euro ´96.
The 1-1 score held as the match went into extra time.
"We were good. We controlled the game, but there's always tension with us, we always concede this early goal and have shocks", Vrsaljko said.
As the England team continues to evolve post-World Cup, hopefully Southgate and Sterling's teammates can devise a strategy whereby he can do more of his work inside the penalty area rather than outside it.
Croatia have been taken to penalties twice in the knockout stages and again had to endure extra time against England.
He added: "Let me tell you, whether we win or lose the game, my life will not change", he said.
Croatia's exhausted and battered players set their sights on the World Cup final against France on Thursday as England reflected on a missed opportunity to end more than half a century of pain.
"We've come an incredibly long way in a short space of time. We got further than anyone else could thought we would have".
"We would certainly like to host a reception for the England football team, who did so well in Russian Federation, and that is something that we are going to talk to the FA about", her spokesperson said.
I know they had two tough ties to get through to get to the semi-final but they looked hollowed out in the first ten minutes while England buzzed around the pitch with energy and goal. It's a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.