WORLD CUP 2018

Die-hard fans feel more pride than pain

England fans celebrating at The Penny Black in Boat Quay after Gareth Southgate's team scored the opening goal of the World Cup semi-final against Croatia before conceding two goals.
England fans celebrating at The Penny Black in Boat Quay after Gareth Southgate's team scored the opening goal of the World Cup semi-final against Croatia before conceding two goals.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

Despite failing to make Cup final, Southgate's promising team inspire hope for the future

The English language has more than 170,000 words but, for the past few weeks, only three - "it's coming home" - seemed to matter most to fans of the Three Lions.

England's fairy-tale run at the World Cup fuelled belief among their supporters that the famous trophy was finally returning to England after 52 years (their sole Cup triumph was in 1966). But that dream ended on Wednesday with their 2-1 semi-final loss to Croatia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'Die-hard fans feel more pride than pain'. Print Edition | Subscribe