Neville thought 3 England stars would struggle at World Cup

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

Croatia, ranked 20th, is now listed with 4-1 odds to hoist the gold trophy, and they have never made it this far in the tournament.

Some England soccer fans sobbed while others looked to the future with confidence after their once improbable dreams of a first World Cup final in more than 50 years were dashed by Croatia on Wednesday.

The largest travelling support of the tournament so far, estimated before the game to be up to 10,000, were at Russia's biggest stage to witness the national side's failure to reach their first World Cup final in 52 years. That penalty save against Colombia was huge, a brilliant save.

"Semi-finals, they've done what they had to do, they took us to the semi-finals".

Rhys Masters, from Southbourne, said: "This is the best squad we've had since I've been watching England. There's a lot of enthusiasm".

He also said that he would be flying to Russian Federation to watch the final, adding: "I'm just waiting on my visa".

And fans said they believed the key to success was the youthful team's work ethic and pride. I don't think any of them could have given any more.

It has a slightly different feel for me, but it's nice to hear people enjoying it again.

Gareth Southgate, his entire squad and support staff, looked in a daze as they stood just 20 yards from the banks of England supporters who had flooded into Russian Federation fuelled by hope and the desire to witness history.

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Mandzukic patted Cortez on the back, before shaking hands as he ran back onto the field of play.

England could then have had the semi won by half-time, but Harry Maguire, Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard all failed to finish clear chances.

GW: Yeah, there's a good article in The Guardian, by Aleksander Holiga that I suggest everyone read, about Croatia and he's one of the authorities on Croatia.

Croatia have sacked one of their coaching staff, Ognjen Vukojevic after he posted a pro-Ukraine video following the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in the World Cup quarter-finals. I don't think realistically any of us did.

But that didn't stop passionate Three Lions fans staying in the stadium for two hours after the game - long after the Croatian fans had left - to honour their heroes.

Croatia fans celebrate at the end of the semifinal match between Croatia and England, in Zagreb.

The English squad is remarkably young, and by the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the team will have four years more experience under their belts. It had been England's best performance in decades, and many had dared to dream that the team might even go on to win it - that football was coming home. "[France] President Emmanuel Macron came down to see us". "I think he's given everything for the team and there was a period of the game in the second half where we didn't have that controlled possession". Similar numbers are expected after tonight's game and extra police patrols have been organised.

Old Christchurch Road to Horseshoe Common, Westover Road and Gervis Place will be closed and bus routes will also be affected.

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