England fans mobilise in their thousands for key World Cup clash

Tanya Simon
July 11, 2018

It may be coming home to No 1 on the United Kingdom singles charts but the coach of the England's national football team, Gareth Southgate, has revealed that he used to detest the popular Three Lions anthem.

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In an age of tattoos, tongue piercings and tensions over Brexit, a soft-spoken man in a dark blue waistcoat and striped tie is uniting England amid dreams of victory in soccer's World Cup.

After a dramatic win on penalties against Russia, Croatia will play England on Wednesday night (AEST) in front of 80,000 people in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the World Cup final. Fabian Delph, 28, played the last 15 minutes of Saturday's game after missing the previous game against Colombia because Southgate allowed him to go home for the birth of his third child.

"This generation has been underrated for a long time because of their poor results, but they have shown their quality when it mattered at this World Cup, and it will go down as a golden generation like that of 1998". Meticulous preparation - including a trip to the United States to take in an National Basketball Association game - the selection of specific players with strong dead-ball delivery, and the defensive nature of high-pressure tournament football has led to a point where set pieces could yet lead England to a second World Cup title.

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He sank a five-foot birdie putt at the fourth and one twice as long at the fifth before dropping a 32-footer at the sixth. They went back to the 18th tee for the playoff, and Knox pitched from 131 yards to virtually the same spot on the green.

My view is that Southgate has managed to transfer some of this intelligent playing learnt from Venables to his current young team.

England had not reached the final four of the World Cup in 28 years, but are now just two games away from winning only their second major title.

'The hunger of players has been there for everyone to see, we are proud of the style they have played. "And then we look forward to doing it all again on Sunday!"

Their run to their semi-final against Croatia has seen the song Football's Coming Home storm to number one in the charts, 22 years after it was released ahead of Euro 96.

In-fact, 72% of England's goals have come from set-pieces.

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