LONDON. — Gareth Southgate’s England team were hailed as heroes by British media, who acclaimed their achievement rather than dwelled on disappointment after their heart-breaking Soccer World Cup exit on Wednesday night.
England’s hopes of reaching only their second ever World Cup final were dashed by Croatia, as Mario Mandzukic scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 extra-time win for Zlatko Dalic’s side on Wednesday night. Despite failing to make the most of arguably their best chance of reaching the final since 1966, British media hailed the team as heroes with Mirror Sport declaring them “National Treasures”, while the Daily Mail saluted their efforts.
The Telegraph’s front page called for England to “Hold your heads high” while the Guardian captured supporters’ mood with the headline “The hurt goes on”. The widespread optimism is a far cry from the reaction England received following their Euro 2016 exit, when the team and then manager Roy Hodgson were criticized heavily for their underwhelming performance in the competition. England’s valiant effort also drew praise from Britain’s Prince William, who said the team’s performance gave fans “something to believe in”. — AFP