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England didn’t finish game off in first half, paid the price – Mourinho on loss to Croatia (VIDEO) RT Exclusive

11 Jul, 2018 22:05
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Jose Mourinho says that England must be “proud” of their World Cup run, but criticized the Three Lions for not taking the chance to pull away, before losing control of the game.

“If I was a bit naïve, if I didn’t have the experience I have in football, I would have come in at half time and said the job is done. But it was not done,” said Mourinho, RT’s World Cup expert, referring to the 1-0 score at the time and the number of chances presented to the English attackers in the opening half.

But Mourinho predicted that the second half would be more precarious.

“When the game was easy for England, the second goal didn’t come, and when Croatia scored their equalizer, they received a big dose of confidence, and the game changed completely. By the end, Croatia deserved it – by the end you could see it from the number of shots, from the ball possession numbers, which changed dramatically,” said the Portuguese manager.

Mourinho singled out poor free kick decisions among the factors that stopped England from wresting back control, even after they needed to score after Mario Mandzukic’s go-ahead goal.

READ MORE: ‘Utterly choked’: England mourns another heartbreaking World Cup exit

The Manchester United manager predicted that most of the team would remain intact and encouraged Gareth Southgate to stay at the helm, but believes the scars from the game in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will not fade easily

"They were so close it hurts more. When you lose in a semi-final and the team is better than you go home relaxed thinking the best team won. The worst thing in football is when you lose and you don’t deserve to, or if you were very close.”