England beaten by Croatia at World Cup: 'It's the what-ifs that hurt the most'

Media playback is not supported on this device The disappointment comes in waves. Mario Mandzukic’s shot ripples the net and the first one hits. You come up for air. Seconds later, looking back up at the screen and those around you and understanding that it is real. That’s wave two. Then comes the realisation of what it means: time slipping, hope going, odds escalating. One, two, three. They keep coming when the final chance disappears, and the whistle sounds and it all goes quiet. There is a rational urge to just get out of there. Turn the TV off, get out in the street or garden and pretend it doesn’t matter.

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