Heartbreak for the Young Lions as England are Beaten by Croatia
England suffered a heartbreaking loss at the worst stage of them all last night as they crashed out of the World Cup in the semi-finals. The Young Lions have filled our hearts with hope over the past three weeks, but were unable to finish the job off, losing 2-1 after extra time to Croatia. There is no doubt that this loss hurts, but when these young players head home and take time to think about what happened in Russia, I hope they look back with a huge amount of pride, and a feeling that they served their country well.
It all began a little too well for England, with Kieran Trippier scoring a wonderful free kick just five minutes into the game to give them the lead. They have chances to bury the game in the first half, perhaps showing a little inexperience along the way as they missed a couple of key chances.
As the second half went on, Croatia found their second wind and got themselves back into the game. Before England knew it, the score was 1-1 and they were firmly on the back foot. A bad spell of around 15 minutes had England on the ropes, but somehow they survived the Croatian onslaught and took the game to extra time.
Much had been said about how tired Croatia looked in their two previous extra time periods, but there is no doubt they were the fresher team during extra time here, and it was England who tired and remained on the back foot. Finally the pressure told, and Croatia took the lead, a goal which would eventually win the game for them. England tried to respond, but just like we saw earlier in the game, they were unable to find that killer ball to cut open the Croatian defence.
Young Lions Look Ahead to 2020 and 2022 with Optimism
The one big positive to come out of this tournament is that the Young Lions have two major tournaments to look forward to with this young and exciting team. The experience they have gained in Russia will be invaluable to them going forward, and they will return for Euro 2020 and the World Cup in 2022 looking to gain revenge for what happened last night.
This is the first time these young lads have ventured onto the world stage, and they performed with a huge amount of credit. Their best years are ahead of them, and that is something that every England fan should look forward to, no matter how much they are hurting right now.
France Favourites to Lift the Trophy on Sunday
France are now favourites to lift the trophy and they are priced up at 4/9 to take it home with them. They are also odds on to win the game in 90 minutes, with a price of 10/11 being offered. If you think Croatia can follow up their success against England then they are 7/4 to win the trophy, and 7/2 to win the game in 90 minutes. Our daily football tips page will have all you need for the final on Sunday if you are looking to place a bet.