AFP photographer becomes part of Croatia World Cup goal celebration

AFP photographer becomes part of Croatia World Cup goal celebration

While Belgium beat favourites Brazil only to be unseated by France in the semi-final, England's opponents were Colombia, Sweden and Croatia - not easy but unquestionably more manageable.

"We were like lions out there tonight and we will be the same in the final". "There's a lot of enthusiasm".

If they had beaten Croatia, England would have reached only their second World Cup final. Not even in my wildest dreams, and I am a big dreamer, would I have imagined this.

And fans said they believed the key to success was the youthful team's work ethic and pride.

Prime Minister Theresa May echoed his comments, saying the team had made the country proud, and looked forward to the third place play-off against Belgium on Saturday.

But not everyone from Bournemouth will be rooting for Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson.

Gareth Southgate's emerging side were 45 minutes away from England's most significant game in 52 years as the voices of their supporters rose in an expectant roar inside the vast Luzhniki Stadium.

"This was Croatia to get to the World Cup final - it's not going to get better than this I don't think".

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GW: Yeah, there's a good article in The Guardian, by Aleksander Holiga that I suggest everyone read, about Croatia and he's one of the authorities on Croatia. "I think France will win the title".

But that didn't stop passionate Three Lions fans staying in the stadium for two hours after the game - long after the Croatian fans had left - to honour their heroes.

In the end, neither Croatia nor England was expected to make it this deep into the tournament, but here they are and France is waiting.

And while defeat is a huge disappointment, many people have marked the occasion by celebrating the historic showing by Gareth Southgate's team.

Croatia captain Luka Modric conceded a free kick with a clumsy challenge on Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier superbly curled home the set piece for his first worldwide goal.

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are".

Despite not being in Russian Federation, the expectant mother has sent her father to the World Cup in her place.

BRIAN STRAUS: You've brought this up a couple times and obviously I'm sure we'll delve into it in the next few days but this [Croatia] team, this program, this federation is total chaos.

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