England’s hunt for a place in a World Cup Final has been delayed by another four years at least as an extra-time strike from Mario Mandzukic marked a famous day for Croatian football in Moscow.
Fans of the Three Lions across the globe are coming to terms with another semi-final exit from football’s most prestigious tournament. Gareth Southgate’s side, who acquitted themselves admirably throughout, ultimately failed in their quest to go one better than Sir Bobby Robson’s charges in 1990.
A small mercy, if there is any to be taken for England fans, is that they at least avoided the anxiety of another penalty shootout, something which can leave a mental scar over an entire generation.
The reaction online has been largely one of pride for England fans, though the heartbreak of going so close to making history seems like it may take more than a while to subside.
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
The fans who were crying on this train are now bravely patting each other’s hands and listing various people who aren’t to blame. ‘Don’t blame Harry. Don’t blame Gareth. It’s nobody’s fault’. I swear, I don’t care much about football but this *does* make me proud of us. #ENGCRO— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) July 11, 2018
It might not be the result we wanted, but you’ve made a whole nation proud. Hold your heads high, you deserve it 👏 https://t.co/YvjkPQXGhu— The FA (@FA) July 11, 2018
What started out as a joke and a bit of fun due to a complete lack of faith in our national team turned into a something special.— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 11, 2018
The #ItsComingHome movement and this England team's World Cup performance has been THE sports story of the year for me. So damn proud.
Proud to be an Englishman.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) July 11, 2018
Well done boys! 🦁🦁🦁
A heartbreaking way to go out but won't forget what a great tournament it's been for @England.@GarethSouthgate and his team have brought the country together and delivered our best World Cup result since 1990.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 11, 2018
They should be extremely proud. We certainly are. #ENGCRO #WorldCup