See how fans celebrated Croatia's World Cup semifinal win in Zagreb

While Croatia fans began celebrating into the night in wild scenes of fireworks and frivolity in capital city Zagreb, their England counterparts walked home leaving a deserted mess of empty bottles and unwanted flags.

Referencing the 52 years that England have gone since winning the World Cup, The Guardian sport section leads with the image of the moment Mario Mandzukic fired the winning goal beyond Jordan Pickford. Prior to 2018, Croatia's best finish in the tournament was third in 1998, when Golden Boot victor Davor Šuker led Croatia past The Netherlands in the third-place match.

Generating huge support from fans at home, England's tournament restored some much-needed faith in the football team's ability to generate positivity, and good-feeling.

And eight years previously, when Germany beat England 4-1 in South Africa, depriving them of reaching the final eight, the general consensus in the media appeared to be that England were outplayed.

They will face England in a third-place play-off on Saturday, as the two losers of the semi-finals go head-to-head to decide who picks up the bronze medal position.

"We would certainly like to host a reception for the England football team, who did so well in Russian Federation, and that is something that we are going to talk to the FA about", her spokesperson said. "Everyone was nervous, but when they got a second goal, everyone took so much confidence, everyone was up in the air, the club was full, there was a great atmostphere".

England's last, and only, World Cup victory was in 1966. But we WILL win a World Cup with this team and Coach!

"Soccer, for Croatians, means a lot". And I think we need to take full credit for that because we've changed that.

Thousands of fans gathered at major outdoor screenings for the knockout games as World Cup fever gripped the nation.

The game ended with England down to 10 players and out of substitutes.

Croatia fans in NZ party at fulltime.

  • Joey Payne