England lose FIFA World Cup 2018 semi-final to Croatia but win hearts
England crashed out in the FIFA World Cup 2018 semi-final when a gritty Croatian team came back to net two goals to make it to a World Cup final for the second timefootball Updated: Jul 12, 2018 12:39 IST
England and their fans did everything they could — from putting in their best on-field performances to creating the feel-good factor of ‘it’s coming home’ in this World Cup in Russia.
However, it was not meant to be so.
The Three Lions crashed out in the semi-final when a gritty Croatian team came back to net two goals to make it to a World Cup final for the second time, prolonging England’s wait to play in the summit clash of the world’s most famous sport.
Kieran Trippier’s free-kick that beat Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic provided England an advantage right at the start of the proceedings in Moscow on Wednesday night, but Croatia kept fighting till the end to clinch a win.
Ivan Perisic’s equaliser in the 68th minute and Mario Mandzukic’s goal in the 109th minute left English hearts in tatters, as the millions in the country truly believed they could end their 52-year wait for a World Cup trophy.
The social media was flooded with emotions from all corners, with some expressing their commiserations to England as well as heaping praise, while some hinting that the Three Lions overdid their ‘it’s coming home’ campaign.
English footballer Daniel Sturridge wrote a heart-felt message for the fans, appealing them not to criticise the team.
If anyone has anything negative to say about this @England team or individuals keep your tweets to yourself. Nobody would have thoughts they'd be where they are or achieved what they have and they've made everyone proud so get behind them and show love not hate #threelions ❤️— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) July 11, 2018
Former England player Gary Lineker praised the English team in their defeat.
Utterly choked, but this young side gave absolutely everything. It’s a huge step forward and they’ll only get better in the future. They can hold their heads high, they did our country proud. Congratulations to Croatia.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018
England captain Harry Kane, who has remained the tournament’s leading scorer, said the defeat will hurt for a while.
Theo Walcott said England team made their country proud.
Gutted for you @england but you have made the whole country very proud 👏🏽— Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) July 11, 2018
Even the cricket fraternity had some interesting reactions to make post England’s defeat.
Former Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie, who has coached several County cricket teams, praised the English side.
While Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh had expressed their support for England, Gautam Gambhir was rooting for the Croatian team.
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar felt England should have defended better towards the end.
Well done Croatia 🇭🇷 you deserve to be in finals but England should’ve defended better in last 10 min anyways can’t wait to see the final now ..— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 11, 2018
David Warner made a fan realise the reason behind him supporting Croatia in a touching manner.
Sorry Tom, best mate of mine is from Croatia and I know how much it means to him and just like what it would have meant to all of England. https://t.co/VBuPc338tv— David Warner (@davidwarner31) July 11, 2018
The defeated English football team will now face Belgium in a clash for the third place on Saturday. Belgium had lost to France in the first semifinal.
France will take on Croatia in the final on Sunday, July 15.
First Published: Jul 12, 2018 12:38 IST