Friday, 20 July, 2018


Here's the most painful part of England's World Cup semifinal loss

Kylian Mbappe Kylian Mbappe
Noah Ferguson | 12 July, 2018, 11:16

If they had beaten Croatia, England would have reached only their second World Cup final. He returned Wednesday to cheer on Croatia with almost 500 of his closest friends.

Referencing the 52 years that England have gone since winning the World Cup, The Guardian sport section leads with the image of the moment Mario Mandzukic fired the winning goal beyond Jordan Pickford.

In Moscow, some England fans emerged from the Luzhniki Stadium in tears and being hugged by others while jubilant Croatian supporters celebrated around them.

Croatia were a goal down against Denmark in the last-16 as well as against Russian Federation in the quarter-finals, before equalising and forcing extra time and penalty shootouts to advance.

Ahead of Sunday's World Cup final, Les Bleus know they'll meet a Croatian side that has played three consecutive extra-time games en route to the final.

Matt Reece, 25, who works in marketing, said England had far outperformed the low expectations of them when the tournament began.

"There are a lot of things that have been hugely positive for us".

England were knocked out of the tournament by Croatia, and Kane looked a million miles away from his normal lethal self.

The Croatians went into Russian Federation as the 20th-ranked team in the world, but in particular their midfield talents of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic meant they were fancied by many as dark horses for a decent run.

"Croatia came on strong and they have some outstanding players and some huge experience". Belgium seems like the safer play, with $100 on the more talented, fresher team netting you $130.

"But I also don't want to miss England in the World Cup final", said David, a 42-year-old from Leeds.

But the cold hard truth is that England squandered its chance to reach the final. "They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players. It's more than I ever expected, to be honest, so it's pretty good".

England won their opening game at a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

This is often the World Cup's unwanted game and there is every chance, certainly as far as England is concerned, this will be used to give opportunities to those who have been so loyal in the shadows in Russian Federation.

He added: "You should hold you heads up high".

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