Gareth Southgate in no mood to change England's winning formula

Gareth Southgate

GETTY Gareth Southgate has helped England grip the nation this World Cup

England made a blistering start, surging into an early lead thanks to a stunning free-kick from Kieran Trippier.

Croatia's Ivan Perisic celebrates after scoring against England in Moscow.

Croatianeeds to recover from two energy-sapping extra-time games and penalty shoot-outs to defeat England and reach their first World Cup final. Although they have come up with goods in the shootouts, it is those 90 minutes where they will need to command their authority over the Three Lions which will be of more relevance.

Croatia's supporters celebrate the second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semifinal football match between Croatia and England, at the main square in Zagreb on July 11, 2018.

Dalic's side are looking to make history at this World Cup, as they have never been beyond the semi-finals stage, making the last-four just once back in 1998, their first appearance in a World Cup finals tournament.

Strinic has been one of Croatia's most consistent performers during the World Cup on the left side of Zlatko Dalic's back four.

Englandhad not been to a semifinal since 1990, and not reached the title game since it won soccer's greatest prize for the only time back in 1966.

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"But if we're ready to give our all on the pitch like we did when we played Argentina, if we will be compact, then I don't believe that there will be problems".

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But Harry Kane shot weakly at Danijel Subasic and forced the rebound against a post, Raheem Sterling again failed to turn promise into substance and Jesse Lingard curled a golden chance wide.

Despite having talents such as Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic to call upon, Croatia's results had not been particularly impressive for several years.

Perisic should have added another three minutes later when ragged defending presented him with a great shooting chance but he cannoned the ball against a post.

England and Croatia are teams that innovated over time but have generally been immutable during the World Cup, sticking to virtually identical starting lineups except for group phase finales, after advancement was secure.

A late Croatia onslaught was unable to complete the turnaround and England stepped things up again in extra-time, nearly retaking the lead when John Stones had a header cleared off the line by Vrsaljko in the 98th minute.

After a night of drama, England found a way to stay in the World Cup.

Southgate's trusted lieutenant, Holland worked as a coach at Chelsea before joining the England set-up and works closely with the manager to concoct match-winning tactical plans.

After patient passing build-up play in the 108th minute, Mandžukić popped up on the six-yard line to dim England's dreams.

The phrase "It's coming home, it's coming home" became the rallying cry for England fans this week as their chances looked good. "Only great teams can be as courageous as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England", Mandzukic said.

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