As the game entered extra-time, Jordan Pickford thought that he was going to be the hero after bravely saving at the feet of Mario Mandzukic - the Everton "keeper made his feelings known to the Juventus striker during that confrontation - but 'Super Mario" had the last laugh when he fired home the victor to send Croatia wild.
England will look to dust themselves off as soon as they return home and they will only have three months to wait before their rematch with Croatia.
Croatia's fans react after a goal as they watch the broadcast of the World Cup semi-final match between Croatia and England in the fan zone.
"We were planning to leave, but now we have to stay until Monday", said Sinisa Pavlek, a Croatian living in Germany as he emerged from the stadium with a broad smile on his face.
Both teams went into full-time 1-1. "I can finish my England career knowing that I have played every possible game I can play in the times I have been selected".
"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.
With beers flying, and the national anthem, amongst other patriotic songs, being sung, there was a genuine belief that England might make their first World Cup final since 1966.
"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.
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"We will have to wait until 2020 if we want to see our men raise some silverware", they said.
"For Croatian football and Croatia as a country, this is history being written".
The Earl of Strathearn said: "I know how disappointed England must feel right now but I couldn't be more proud of this team and you should hold your heads high".
And Mourinho believes Southgate should be given the chance to lead England into the future.
"England progressed from a group stage exit in 2014 to a semi-final defeat in extra-time four years later".
But the Guardian said the players might struggle to shake off the ordeal of losing the semi-final.
It was never going to happen, of course, as the ecstasy of taking a tiny nation to the final of the World Cup for the first time needed to be worked through with the people that provided the players with support and inspiration.