But Croatia hit back through Ivan Perisic to force extra time, where Mario Mandzukic then finished past Jordan Pickford to confirm that football, contrary to popular belief, isn't coming home just yet.
Former players and staff have also posted a series of positive messages after England's run came to an end.
That game is best known for Turkey forward Hakan Sukur scoring the fastest World Cup goal in history, needing only 11 seconds to make it 1-0.
Dele Alli's model girlfriend Ruby Mae was there to support her nab while there was hugs all round for manager Gareth Southgate with his wife Alison and and teenage children Mia, 19, and Flynn, 15.
England, meanwhile, "blew our chances", said 17-year-old Josh Ogunde after watching the 2-1 semi-final defeat with friends near Trafalgar Square in central London as the disappointed crowds streamed home.
"Two players played with half a leg, but it didn't show".
Laura Grimes, of Cambridge University Press, said: "The huge amount of language data we've collected and analysed gives us fascinating insight into the mood surrounding the World Cup".
"I am immensely proud by the way the players have played and we can see by the reaction of the supporters, they felt the same".
"We beat England in the group stage, so we can beat them now", the defender said at a news conference.
England coach Gareth Southgate praised Kane, who is two goals ahead of Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku for the Golden Boot. There's still the small matter of a World Cup final of course, and we feel France are deserving favourites to win Sunday's showpiece.
"He's captained the team brilliantly", Southgate said of Kane. "As proceedings are ongoing, please understand we can not comment further at this stage". "We have one more game left, and we have never been more motivated". They have given us so much to shout about.
Unlike the Olympics, where winning third place comes with a bronze medal and some sense of accomplishment, at the World Cup it's only a brutal reminder of how close you came.