Jordan Henderson said it ‘wasn’t our night’ as England fell to a 2-1 defeat against France and crashed out of the World Cup.
France took the lead through a wonderful strike from Aurelien Tchouameni, but England roared back after half-time with a penalty from Harry Kane.
France took the lead again 15 minutes from time through Olivier Giroud’s header, only for England to win another penalty after a shove on substitute Mason Mount.
This time, however, Kane blazed his penalty over the bar and France were able to hold on for the win.
Asked for his take on the defeat, Henderson said: “It is hard now to sum it up, it is hard to find the right words.
“I thought we gave everything in the game, we were disappointed to go 1-0 down but we showed the character and mentality to keep going and find the equaliser.
“We gave it everything and unfortunately it wasn’t our night.”
Henderson was also quick to jump to the defence of England captain Kane, who appeared distraught at the final whistle after his costly miss from 12 yards.
“We know how many penalties Harry has scored for us, how many goals he has contributed to even get us here,” insisted Henderson. “He will be stronger for this in the future. He is a world-class striker and our captain, he will bounce back.”
Asked if this represented a missed opportunity for England, Henderson said: “We felt good, the performances were really good, the focus and hunger has been really good.
“But you have to give credit to France who are a good team. I still feel it was there for us to win tonight.”
France will now face Morocco in the semi-finals, after their shock win over Portugal earlier on Saturday.