Fans thank England for 'making nation dream'

AnalysisWhy this England World Cup side has set the tone for a generation to come

It was a tough day for England: after their overtime loss in a tight World Cup 2018 semifinal match against Croatia, the team had to let go of their high hopes for World Cup glory this year.

In capital Zagreb, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain.

England face Belgium in the third/fourth play-off on Saturday, before the World Cup final between France and Croatia on Sunday. Prior to 2018, Croatia's best finish in the tournament was third in 1998, when Golden Boot victor Davor Šuker led Croatia past The Netherlands in the third-place match.

The mutual appreciation between squad and fans was slightly marred by news on Thursday that Federation Internationale de Football Association had opened disciplinary proceedings against the FA following a report of possible discriminatory chanting by England supporters during the Croatia match.

Coming off two games that went to overtime, Croatia was supposed to be the team that was exhausted.

Hyde Park was a mess as everyone went home.

Despite taking an early lead, Croatia made it 2-1 in extra time where they secured a place in the final.


Powell fully expected England to get knocked out at the quarter-final stage, but instead they're just two wins away from achieving the feat.

"They're outnumbering us 10 to 1", he said, referring to Croatian fans. "Everyone was nervous, but when they got a second goal, everyone took so much confidence, everyone was up in the air, the club was full, there was a great atmostphere".

"Soccer, for Croatians, means a lot".

"It was a tough game, a 50-50 game, I'm sure we'll look back at stuff we could have done better but we worked as hard as we could".

England soccer fans are left wondering what could have been at an empty Hyde Park in London.

Towering defender Harry Maguire has risen to cult hero status at the World Cup and he has had an army of family and pals following him around during the tournament.

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

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