So who would you bring in? The Croats were out-sung for the first 70 minutes, after Kieran Trippier's early goal, but found their voice after their equaliser, and were sent into delirium by the extra-time victor.
"It's been great to get to this stage but we wanted to keep going". "There was a period of the game in the second half where we didn't have that controlled possession, and the game became too end to end with us not building in the way we have been".
"Whether that had an effect on us not wanting to take as many chances as we had, subconsciously, I don't know". The ball rebounded nearly out of play, then sat up for Kane to take another shot from less than two yards at a tight angle.
Croatia's dream goes on while England wake up.
England manager Gareth Southgate admitted that the World Cup third/fourth place playoff is a game no one wants to play in after his team lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals in Russian Federation.
Paul Pogba still haunted by Euro 2016 final defeat
They worked in '98 and we worked today, we reached out target to get to the final, I'm very satisfied". "A lot of pride", said the defender.
It meant another World Cup semifinal heartbreaker for England, only this time the game was under control before it was lost.
Captain Harry Kane told his two million followers: "It hurts a lot". That team also exceeded expectations and won the adulation of fans at home with a beloved centre forward who played for Tottenham. We beat our record from 20 years ago.
Few expected England to reach the semi-final stage of the competition and Southgate's men have managed to win back the support and love of the nation with a new friendly approach. The team needed Kane to use his head in stoppage time to get the victor.
Dejan Lovren made history with Croatia on Wednesday night but wants to rewrite it immediately by helping his country lift the World Cup. What more could we ask for? We will want to give a performance of huge pride, no question about that.
"Cro no": A slightly weird pun adorns the Star's back page alongside an image of Southgate consoling Pickford after England's "extra-time agony".