Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

England fans turned London's Hyde Park into the rowdiest beer shower

England fans turned London's Hyde Park into the rowdiest beer shower

England scored early in its semifinal matchup against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup.

Former England captain Steven Gerrard says Gareth Southgate's side have "done the country proud" - and believes they will beat Croatia in their World Cup semi-final.

In a World Cup replete with set-piece goals, a corner again proved decisive when Umtiti timed his run perfectly to meet Antoine Griezmann's delivery six minutes into the second half. The English claim to have invented the game, or at least the modern version of it.

"I do predict an England win", he said.

After the match, soccer fans in the United States and around the world reacted to England's loss with either heartbreak, or reveled in their failure.

Up to 30,000 people were expected to converge on London's Hyde Park for the capital's biggest screening of a match since the European Championship in 1996, with other big crowds expected in Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and on Brighton beach on the south coast. And the last time it played in the final four was 20 years ago, in 1998. That year, France both hosted FIFA's World Cup and won, beating Brazil 3-0.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman says today's match is being played against a political backdrop.

"We knew what was at stake and how important the semi-final is for a small country like Croatia", Perisic added. A separate video led to a Croatian coach being sent home. Les Bleus will face off against Croatia on Sunday.

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