Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

England's World Cup dream is over and while the right fans are focusing on the future of the very young squad which Gareth Southgate has at his disposal, there are some who made a decision to react to the Three Lions' semi-final defeat to Croatia by lashing out at the players who underperformed on Wednesday night.

Or the header in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes when the score was 1-1 and a goal would likely have brought England back to Moscow for the final against France. Defender Kieran Trippier put Gareth Southgate's squad ahead just five minutes in with yet another a goal from a set piece, a direct free kick that settled into the top right corner of Danijel Subasic's net.

Ex-Chicago Fire man David Accam bagged a goal for his Philadelphia Union in the fourth minute of stoppage time on Wednesday. But the Blazers weren't done.

They booked their place in the final by seeing off England 2-1 after extra time, making light of the fact that the Three Lions hail from a land with a population of around 53 million.

After the match, soccer fans in the United States and around the world reacted to England's loss with either heartbreak, or reveled in their failure.

"I've got the utmost respect for him - he's been banging goals in for Spurs for several seasons - but he's not alone, his team-mates play at top clubs, so it will be hard".

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When the final whistle blew and they knew they were going to their first World Cup final, the Croatians ran to their jumping and cheering fans in their iconic red-and-white checkered jerseys. He deserves, if we win this World Cup, the Ballon d'Or'.

"Now we have another chance to do something even better".

Ultimately, their supporters have been England's motivation for success, and as the thousands joyfully celebrated Trippier's goal from a direct free-kick (the first from an England player since David Beckham's against Ecuador in 2006), the feeling was that the nation had rediscovered its heady passion for global football, not felt in nearly thirty years.

"It's a huge step forward and they'll only get better in the future", he tweeted. "I don't think realistically we expected to be here".

It's four years away, sure, and a lot can change in that time. "We'll be there and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity seeing them in the World Cup".

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