England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 attracts few fans

England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 attracts few fans

Despite Kieran Trippier giving England an early lead, Croatia clawed their way back into the game and edged past Southgate's side after extra time.

"But from the second half onwards we played much better, and we showed our real standard", said Perisic.

The Village in Station Hill was packed full of optimistic fans as Gareth Southgate's men played their first semi-final since 1990 against Croatia.

A $100 bet on England would net you a $200 profit if they were to win in regulation, but keep in mind that England just played an extra 30 minutes and has a day's less rest.

"England of course have a reason to cry but they also have a reason to be optimistic", the Portuguese told Russia Today. "But, certainly she thinks he did a fantastic job and thinks the players and fans can look forward to a bright future".

The national team's performance in recent years had tested the faith of the most ardent England fans, arguably reaching a nadir with the 2-1 loss to Iceland at the European Championships two years ago.

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Given they arrived in Russian Federation as rank outsiders, however, Southgate was invited to detail the positives from a campaign that appears to have repaired the strained relationship between England and its team.

"You've had an incredible World Cup, made history, and gave us fans something to believe in".

The game ended with England down to 10 players and out of substitutes.

But it was England that looked exhausted as the game went on. "For them to still be singing when we're seeing friends and families, chanting our names and singing the manager's name, is completely different". I've looked at it every day since - and it was the first thing I looked at when we got back this morning.

In their other appearance, in 1966, in London, they entered popular folklore by beating West Germany, an achievement that many fans have long thought they would never see again.

The Telegraph's front page called for England to "Hold your heads high" while the Guardian captured supporters' mood with the headline "The hurt goes on".

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