Wednesday (July 11) World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia was not a fun experience, as the dreams of a country turned into a nightmare with the slow realisation creeping over us all that football wasn't coming home after all.
Before we get there, let's cast out mind back to the early moments of the match. With the boys going up 1-0 within just five minutes, the nation believed in miracles, but as Mario Mandzukic's left foot swept the winner past Jordan Pickford, the floor seemed to sink.
Held in Moscow, the match was off to a flying start as Kieran Trippier floated a beautiful free-kick into the Croatian top corner to send English fans into euphoria. Social media instantly erupted as the England players celebrated on-field.
BOOOOOM!!!!!!!! 1-0 ENGLAND.- Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 11, 2018
What a start - Trippier you beauty!#ENGCRO
Oh yes great start from our boy- Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) July 11, 2018
Wow, just wow. Trippier you little hero. What a start.- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018
Geordie popstar Cheryl was caught unawares during the goal, having tuned into the match 10 minutes post-kick-off.
I got in 10 minutes late and already missed a goal!? 😱🙌🏼.. come on England 🏴!!!- Cheryl (@CherylOfficial) July 11, 2018
But the lead wasn't to last long. As Croatia's equaliser sent the match to extra time, Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan's nerves were in tatters as he hung on every kick. Surely the lads could salvage a famous victory?
Southgate very animated in that team talk. This is where heroes get made. Come on England. 👊👊- Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 11, 2018
Mandzukic had other ideas, however, as he latched onto a looping header to score the game's third and final goal for Croatia. Tweets were undoubtedly smashed into keyboards as the country fell into despair. Some users sought to find amusement or distraction in the situation though, which we can't blame.
Football's coming home, but says it just bumped into an old mate going through a hard time, so is it okay if football stays out and has a few pints and a curry? #ENGCRO- Danny Wallace (@dannywallace) July 11, 2018
It’s coming home- Alykhan Khamisa Ravjiani (@AlykhanKR) July 11, 2018
t’s coming home
‘s coming home
s coming home
e coming home
re coming home
‘re coming home
y’re coming home
ey’re coming home
hey’re coming home
They’re coming home #ENGCRO #WorldCup
Trumps coming home- LILY ALLEN (@lilyallen) July 11, 2018
As the final whistle echoed around the Russian stadium, many famous Twitter user took the opportunity to congratulate the Croatian team and offer words of support for Gareth Southgate's men.
Absolutely gutted... so proud of us getting to the semi-finals though. Congratulations Croatia! 🔥 #ENGCRO- Oli White (@OliWhiteTV) July 11, 2018
Unlucky lads . You did so well to get so far .- Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) July 11, 2018
It's not coming home.- Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 11, 2018
But we are.
Well done Croatia. You were better than us. And your president is better looking- Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 11, 2018
We still changed the history of the past 28 years 😥 I’m proud of how far we came and proud of Gareth Southgate. Congrats boys 🏴 👏🏼- Cheryl (@CherylOfficial) July 11, 2018
💔 Well done boys. England ❤️- Jacqueline Jossa (@jacquelineMjos) July 11, 2018
We’re as gutted as you are boys. And that means so much. A divided country in so many ways came together again to support you all and you gave us one hell of a tournement. Thank you #ENG- Danny Mac (@dannymaconline) July 11, 2018
With the players and coaching staff returning home as heroes, thoughts of the Qatar World Cup in 2022 will most likely be on their minds.
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