It meant another World Cup semifinal heartbreaker for England, only this time the game was under control before it was lost. "I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks".
But neither side are in a mood for nostalgia or using the past as motivation. Had Southgate's players faced a Brazil, France, Uruguay or Portugal before this stage, they might not have made it so far because the lack of service to Harry Kane would really have told against such high-quality opposition.
Returning to an earlier theme, Lloris added: "The most important game in our career is ahead of us". "For us, it was impressive to watch a team such as the English, that is so strong physically, and they couldn't keep up anymore, and we did have that energy". Not what's happened in the past. "We made it to the finals, no one believed in us, every pundit out there was thinking England but we showed the world", another jubilant fan said.
Neither team came to Russian Federation being heralded as favourites but they have produced performances throughout the competition which have shown they were underestimated by the pundits. Many of these players have come of age on an worldwide stage.
"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said. "We haven't said our last word, there is still one more game to go".
"We saw nearly all of France's games in the group", Perisic added.
Paul Gascoigne has joined a legion of former England stars including Sir Geoff Hurst urging the team to seize the moment and beat Croatia tonight.
England's midfielder Jordan Henderson and Gareth Southgate at the Luxhniki Stadium. You give everything you have, build friendships with your team, give everything for your country and play in a way that you hope connects with the fans. Throughout the game we looked at how we might stem the tide but there weren't clear changes to make.
"We created some good chances when 1-0 up and maybe we dropped a bit deep at times, we didn't get enough pressure on the ball", Kane said after the match.