England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford said that the missed chances in the first-half of the game against Croatia cost them the match as the Three Lions failed to build on their 1-0 lead.
England got off to a flying start in their first semi-final match of the World Cup in 28 years as the Three Lions took a 1-0 lead, courtesy of an exquisite 5th minute Kieran Trippier freekick that curled its way back to the Croatia net.
However, England could not build on the lead as they kept on squandering good opportunities, slowly pushing the momentum toward Croatia who pounced on Gareth Southgate’s men later in the game. A 68th minute Ivan Perisic equalizer and a Mario Mandzukic winner late in extra-time saw the Three Lions fall to a 2-1 defeat against the Croats.
Pickford told ITV that England needed to score one more goal when they had the chances to ‘kill off the tie’.
“We needed that next goal to kill off the tie,” Pickford said.
“We had some good chances, never put them away, and I feel like if we got that goal before half-time or in the first 15 of the second half we might have had that opportunity to win the game.
“A team like Croatia, we know their threats going forward. They’ve got some top quality players and they showed a bit in the second half.”
Pickford also doubted the equalizer by Perisic to be a high-foot offense against Kyle Wlaker but later said that England need to look forward now and forget what has happened.
“I’m always trying to help the team and unfortunately it was a one-on-one [for the winner] and maybe a high foot against [Walker],” the Everton gloveman said.
“But you never know. You can’t look at it like that. You’ve just got to look forward now and show pride and show passion, which we have.” Pickford concluded.
England face off against Belgium in Saturday’s third-place game, in a rematch of the group stage finale.