"The team and the individuals will be better in a couple of years time". The innovation was aimed at bringing some of the old magic back into the game, which had got stultified into set pieces. After scoring such a handsome goal, he and his game nosedived.
Unable to get the second goal while they were on top, Croatia were forced into extra time again.
Which is understandable. They have enjoyed a memorable tournament and the time to hear some home truths probably isn't just after such a bitter disappointment.
Goals such as these are exhilarating for a neutral fan like me.
'We have overcome so many challenges that have haunted England in the past.
Croatia's Ivan Perisic and Luka Modric celebrate after their match against England.
A peak audience of 26.5 million people watched England go out of the World Cup on ITV - with an average of 24.3 million, bigger than the London 2012 opening ceremony and the highest football audience on any single channel in the UK. But after a string of positive results from Dalic's wards, they now have surpassed the 1998 squad by going past the semifinals and into the final against the 1998 World Cup champions France. But it was a great free kick and deserved a goal.
Instead, Croatia were allowed to get back into the game. He borrowed tricks from American basketball on creating space and blocking defenders.
Should they be able to maintain the momentum they gained in the group stages and into the knockout phase of the tournament, it's becoming clear now that Croatia might finish this Sunday's encounter with a star above their country's badge.
Chants by England fans during their semi-final defeat to Croatia on Wednesday are being investigated by the governing body.
Entire England had their hope bolstered when Kieran Trippier scored in the 5th minute. His penalty-taking skills could do with some polishing though. Jesse Lingard was busy doing nothing.
Croatia regrouped after the half-time. When Rebic was penalised for catching Kyle Walker with a flailing arm at the end of the first half, a yellow card wasn't brandished towards him - it was shown to Mandzukic for punching the ball away in frustration. From then, England were reduced to defence and long passes forward.
England were leading from the fifth minute against a side who had come through extra-time in their two previous games and still couldn't finish the job. Captain Harry Kane was brought down hear the Croatian penalty box.
This should have created more opportunities for the English forwards to exploit.
And thus, Raheem Sterling was up against it. Kane's presence was rarely felt except in a dead-ball play.
It even caused a diplomatic incident with Colombia's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Néstor Osorio-Londoño, roaring: "It is rather sad that they use such a festive and friendly environment, as the World Cup, to target a country and continue to stigmatize it with a completely unrelated issue".