Today at the World Cup: England fly home and Neymar struggles with Brazil exit

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Sportem
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The dust settled on England’s 2-1 quarter-final defeat to France as the semi-finals took shape in Qatar.

There is no action until Tuesday but here the PA news agency looks at how Sunday unfolded at the World Cup.

England head home

The England squad flew back to the UK on Sunday afternoon after their World Cup exit.

Gareth Southgate’s side suffered a cruel 2-1 defeat to France on Saturday night, with captain Harry Kane missing a crucial late penalty.

The early exit means England fell short of repeating their run to the last four in 2018.

Kane’s miss will haunt him forever

Former England captain Alan Shearer expects Harry Kane’s penalty miss to stay with him for the rest of his life.

Kane blazed over from 12 yards late on, having already made it 1-1 from the spot, as England chased a second equaliser.

Shearer wrote in the Athletic: “He will relive his penalty over and over. He will revisit it, he will retake it and in his mind’s eye he will convince himself that this time, he’s scoring. And I promise you, it will stay with him forever.

“Having taken one already, the difference was the difference itself. It becomes a mind game, not only with the goalkeeper but with yourself. It’s human nature. Who blinks first? To me, Harry looked weighed down for his second. Heavier, somehow.”

Dave the cat prepares for his new life

England may not be returning with the World Cup but at least they are not coming back empty-handed.

Dave the cat, a stray befriended by John Stones and Kyle Walker in Qatar, will travel to England for his new life.

Dave was taken to a local vets for tests and vaccinations and will spend four months in quarantine before being reunited with the squad.

“He was just there one day so we’ve just adopted him, me and Stonesy,” Walker told the FA’s official media channel. “Dave is welcome to the table. Some people really don’t like the cat, but I love him.”

Neymar’s heartbreak

Neymar took to Instagram after Brazil’s quarter-final penalty defeat to Croatia on Friday.

The PSG star did not took a penalty for Brazil in their 4-2 shoot-out defeat as he was due to be the fifth man.

“I’m psychologically destroyed,” Neymar wrote. “This was certainly the defeat that hurt me the most, which made me paralyzed for 10 minutes and right after I fell into non-stop crying.

“It’s gonna hurt for a loooong time, unfortunately. We fought until the end. That’s what I’m proud of my team-mates because there was no lack of commitment and dedication.

“This group deserved it, we deserved it, BRAZIL deserved it… But this was not the will of GOD! It was worth every sacrifice to feel the affection of each one from inside the field.”

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