Croatia was supposed to be a exhausted team coming into the match.
"We showed again that we were not exhausted - we dominated the game mentally and physically". But if anything, the grueling lead-up to the clash against England solidified Croatia's mental toughness, which served the Croats well on Wednesday.
And Mourinho believes Southgate should be given the chance to lead England into the future.
England, appearing in their first semi-final since 1990, had looked on course for their first final since 1966 as they led through Kieran Trippier's fifth-minute free kick and totally dominated the opening half. But then everything went to waste when Mandžukić in the second half of injury time.
Winger Ivan Perisic levelled scores on the 67th minute after a great cross from defender Sime Vrsaljko. They are stronger in terms of mentality, strength.
Croatia's legs at the start seemed to carry the weight of so many minutes in the knockout stage, and a pressing England went up quickly.
Last week, the Croatian soccer federation was hit with a $70K fine after its players were seen drinking "non-authorized beverage products" during Croatia's Round of 16 meeting with Denmark. They became the aggressors, pushing the attack and threatening several times when England's defense seemed to relax. It went into extra-time and Gareth Southgate replaced Ashley Young with Danny Rose on the flank.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 11, 2018. The ball found Mandzukic in stride and he drove a left-footed shot past diving English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
It turned out to be the winning score. Matt Dickinson and Jeremy Cross joined Neil Ashton on the World Cup Supplement to reflect on events in Moscow. But this English team won't be returning from Russian Federation with the proverbial tail between the legs.
Gareth Southgate's men travel to Saint Petersburg for Saturday's third-place play-off against Belgium with their heads held high after exceeding expectations. It's been a fantastic journey.
For England, who captured so many hearts with their run to the semifinals, there will be the same disappointment that has haunted them at big tournaments across the world for 52 years. and counting.
Shortly after Ivan Perisic's equaliser and with England firmly on the back foot, Gareth Southgate looked to freshen things up by withdrawing Sterling and sending in Marcus Rashford in the hope that the 20-year-old could expose Lovren and Vida's exhausted legs.
Though England will return to the country without the World Cup trophy, Kane could bring home an individual award as the tournament's top scorer.