Despite the defeat Gareth Southgate was proud of what his team had accomplished.
I’m conscious we’ve just lost a massive, massive game and I don’t want to be seen to be moving on too quickly. We shouldn’t overlook the opportunity we had and, at the moment, we all feel the pain of the defeat. Did we feel we would be in this position? Realistically, I don’t think any of us did. Go back 18 months and no one would have expected us to be in a semi-final of the World Cup.
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Martha Kelner relays the reaction from Moscow and reflects on the transformational PR emanating from England’s run to the semi-finals.
There was a sense among the supporters that this result does not change the fondness most feel for the manager and the team. A core of around 1,500 England fans have been at all six games. From the historic city of Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, where England beat Tunisia courtesy of a stoppage time header by Harry Kane. To Nizhny Novgorod, where the rivers Volga and Oka meet and England notched their biggest ever win, beating Panama 6-1. To the outpost of Kaliningrad where England’s second string were beaten by Belgium’s in what was effectively a meaningless match. To Moscow for the first knockout round game and England’s only World Cup penalty shootout victory to defeat Colombia. Then they breezed past Sweden in the sticky heat of Samara in the South.
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