Hopes dashed, England fans taste bitter defeat once again

PETER SHILTON England’s first-choice goalkeeper in Italy played on until 1997 and now runs a consultancy business with his wife. He competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 and works on the after-dinner speaking circuit

Soccer fans in Calgary supporting England or Croatia had an intense couple of hours Wednesday as the two countries met in the World Cup semi final.

The Croatian players were quick to tend to Cortez. The Croats were out-sung for the first 70 minutes, after Kieran Trippier's early goal, but found their voice after their equaliser, and were sent into delirium by the extra-time victor.

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.

Croatia won all three of their group stage games before needing penalties to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation and setup Wednesday's semi with England.

At least, England looked like they were poised to get back to their first World Cup final in 50 years and give the players a chance to bring the trophy home to one of the most soccer-crazed countries on the planet.

Matt Reece, 25, who works in marketing, said England had far outperformed the low expectations of them when the tournament began.

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For England , the end still felt premature. "I reckon there's a lot we could've done better". You couldn't ask for anything more from the group of players.

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"We worked as hard as we could.it hurts, it hurts a lot and it will hurt for a long time. Thank you, England": A simple message of gratitude from the Express, accompanied by a picture of Southgate and his players showing their appreciation to the travelling supporters.

"The more of these tests we can come through, the better, not just for now, but moving forward".

England take on Croatia in the World Cup this evening. "They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players".

"Tonight was a wonderful opportunity for us and you can't guarantee those opportunities come again, but we want to be a team who are hitting quarterfinals, semifinals and finals".

Harry Kane confirmed his reputation as a striker of high quality and John Stones looks to be developing into the class act so many have expected for so long.

England won their opening game at a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup. Belgium and England face off in the third-place match after losing in the semifinals.

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