Hopes dashed, England fans taste bitter defeat once again

England's forward Raheem Sterling vies for the ball with Sweden's goalkeeper Robin Olsen during their Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final match at the Samara Arena in Samara

London's Hyde Park looks like a war zone after thousands of England fans left after watching their team lose 2-1 to Croatia in the Fifa World Cup semifinals.

Croatia have multiple injury concerns heading into Wednesday's clash in Moscow, with right-back Sime Vrsaljko the main worry due to a knee injury, while goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was also hurt against Russian Federation in the quarter-finals.

Because the goal came so early in the match, it's likely that the beers flung into the skies were a bit more full than fans initially anticipated when they imagined their celebration. But Croatia came alive in the second half, first scoring on a header in the 68th minute by Ivan Perisic to level the match and take the game to extra time.

THE hopes and fears of the nation have reached new heights ahead of England's semi-final clash with Croatia.

"Anyone want a World Cup Final ticket", he asked in another post. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match. "I'll go even if England don't make it, the atmosphere will be great".

Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for football policing, said: "I think we'll see more, I think influx is probably overstating it".

The game is England's first World Cup semi-final since the penalty shoot-out heartbreak against the then West Germany in 1990 in Italy.

The winners of Wednesday's game will face France in the final at 1500 GMT on Sunday.

Chris Treloar, 34, said: "I'm absolutely gutted, especially with the way the goal went in".

Asked how many might be ticketless, he said: "It's hard to judge, we know from the ticket sales we can probably reasonably expect through official channels about half that number to get tickets. Extra time, I knew it was on the cards we weren't going to win that".

"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup".

"They're compact, very organised, they have a good midfield with Rakitic and Modric, and lots of players have won in the past a lot of trophies with their clubs, not only in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb but also outside in France, Italy, Spain, and they have a lot of experience".

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