Kieran Trippier got England off to a dream start but they were ultimately pegged back and beaten in extra-time.
Fears of violence and racism ahead of the World Cup, bolstered by memories of clashes between England and Russian Federation fans Marseille during the European Championship in France in 2016, may have put supporters off travel to Russian Federation for the tournament.
The Three Lions fought bravely but came up just short in extra time as Croatia snatched a late victor to book their spot in Sunday's final with France.
Playing a 3-5-2 formation and emphasising moving the ball quickly through the centre, England were a revelation at this World Cup, breaking their penalty curse against Colombia and strolling past Sweden to reach the last four.
But even though England are out, they've still had an fantastic tournament.
That's why beating Colombia in the last 16 knockout match was wonderful. It also ran the headline "48 years of pain... and counting", referencing the only time England have won the trophy, which was in 1966.
From more than 20 yards away, Lingard curled the ball into the corner of the net.
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It probably seems like a while ago now, but remember the first match England played against Tunisia?
England lost much of their first-half momentum after the break.
The Three Lions missed chances to extend their lead - Harry Kane hit the post when he tried to stuff a rebound past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic at the near post in the 30th minute - but they were generally in control of the match.
"Cro no": A slightly freakish pun adorns the Star's back page alongside an image of Southgate consoling Pickford after England's "extra-time agony".
Croatia scored an equalizer in the 68th minute when an innocent-looking ball from right back Sime Vrsaljko floated into the area, where Ivan Perisic beat Kyle Walker to the ball and stabbed it past keeper Jordan Pickford.
Technically not a moment on the pitch but we just needed to dedicate a section to England manager Gareth Southgate's waistcoats.