But Croatia hit back through Ivan Perisic to force extra time, where Mario Mandzukic then finished past Jordan Pickford to confirm that football, contrary to popular belief, isn't coming home just yet. It's wonderful that Croatia have come this far with one of the oldest squads in the tournament, but as Luka Modric has proved time and again this summer, there's many a good tune played on an old fiddle.
Jamie Vardy's wife Rebekah, dubbed queen of the WAGS by some of the press this summer, was in attendance to support her husband.
Players such as Manchester City's Phil Foden, Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon, Everton's Ademola Lookman and Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, never mind Liverpool's Joe Gomez, who would have been at this World Cup had it not been for injury.
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Lukaku made Gabriel Jesus look average, De Bruyne was just outrageously good and Hazard outperformed Neymar in every aspect. The Red Devils will now play France‚ who eliminated Uruguay 2-0 earlier in the day‚ in an enticing all-European semi-final.
"Two players played with half a leg, but it didn't show. I think they're the toughest competition for us in the World Cup".
'I told them they should take a huge amount from the reception they got from the supporters, because that has not always been the way with England.
Gary Lineker waved goodbye to Germany when they were knocked out the World Cup and now Scots are doing the same to England. We're gutted, we've worked so hard and the fans were incredible.
"We, as a team, have made incredible progress and probably got to a stage where at the start of the tournament we would have considered a success".
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Both goalkeepers made early saves in the shootout, with an injured Danijel Subasic stopping the opening shot from Fedor Smolov. This is the first time two teams have had penalties in successive matches of the knockout stages of a World Cup, though.
Two years ago, when we lost to Iceland at Euro 2016, the team was booed off and there was a awful atmosphere afterwards of anger and disillusionment. Croatia and their players and manager are tactically more astute at the moment to big game football. "I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks". "It looked like as the game advanced, we improved physically and that was impressive".
"We were saying, "OK, today we will see who will be tired".
He added: "The high levels of demand continued until around 4.30am before returning to levels that we would normally have expected to see".
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The job growth shows the labour market shrugging off worries about a slowdown triggered by trade fights or rising borrowing costs. Some economists project economic output rose at better than 4% annual pace in the second quarter for the first time since 2014.