After Kieran Trippier's fifth minute free-kick goal, it seemed England's fairy tale was bound to continue but yet another spirited fightback from Croatia, saw them rally to victory and bring the Three Lions' World Cup run to a screeching halt.
A brilliantly poked second-half equaliser from Ivan Perisic saw Croatia force extra time and a Mario Mandzukic 109th-minute winner pushed the Croatians into their first ever final by the score of 2-1.
Unfortunately for England fans "it's not coming home" after all. Here is how social media reacted to Croatia's victory and England's exit at the World Cup semifinals.
Croatia have reached their first World Cup final! pic.twitter.com/QFzZZsmMm5— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 11, 2018
Looks like the Croatian federation was pretty happy at the sound of the final whistle...
🇭🇷🆚🏴— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) July 11, 2018
FINALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!#BeProud #FlamingPride #Family #CROENG #WorldCup #Vatreni🔥 pic.twitter.com/bqwLqdT429
I'm sure there's more of this going on in Zagreb now that Croatia's victory has been confirmed.
Hard to argue with Taylor here. The better side in the second half and showed such stamina and composure throughout the tournament.
360 minutes, 2 penalty kick shootouts & a comeback in a semifinal. 🇭🇷 has absolutely earned their place in the #WorldCup final. 👍🏼— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) July 11, 2018
Can Croatia make history against France?
Looking ahead to Sunday...— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 11, 2018
Croatia will be the sixth team to appear in its first World Cup final against a team that previously won the World Cup and the first since France 20 years ago. pic.twitter.com/Ai1TKPJeyf
For every winner there has to be a loser and while England fell short on the day and will be thoroughly disappointed, these young Three Lions galvanised a country and won back a fan base that had been jaded by years of underachievement. They did England proud and they will likely be back.
To everyone who supported us.— England (@England) July 11, 2018
To everyone who believed this time was different.
To everyone who wasn't afraid to dream.
To everyone who knows this is only the beginning.
Thank you. We hope we made you proud. #threelions pic.twitter.com/jH8lYMB2E0
Players former and current congratulate the Three Lions on their World Cup run...
Utterly choked, but this young side gave absolutely everything. It's a huge step forward and they'll only get better in the future. They can hold their heads high, they did our country proud. Congratulations to Croatia.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018
A great journey and experience for these young 🏴 players . My overriding thoughts tonight are that they should be proud and that I hope they get their again soon to go that final step ❤️— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 11, 2018
Gutted. Massive well done to all the lads who have done us all proud, keep your heads held high. This is a great young team with a big big future 👏👏👏— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) July 11, 2018
Proud of the @England team and the way they have conducted themselves and played this @FIFAWorldCup. Hold your heads up high you have made the nation proud and brought the love back. There is more to come from this young team 🏴 #threelions #england— Kelly Smith MBE (@kelly_smith10) July 11, 2018
Well done, captain.
Some of the England fans showing perspective on an impressive tournament run even took the defeat in stride.
England fans singing 'Don't Look Back In Anger' by Oasis after losing to Croatia is why sports are amazing. pic.twitter.com/KnP6LLzuG1— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 11, 2018
Here's some of the headlines from tomorrow's papers back in London.
Guardian front page, Thursday 12 July 2018: End of the dream: England out of the World Cup pic.twitter.com/WS8tagmh4k— The Guardian (@guardian) July 11, 2018
Tomorrow's cover of The Game pic.twitter.com/5QaBPFKb8u— Tom Clarke (@_TomClarke) July 11, 2018
Here's how it went down over 120 minutes...
Some of the Croatian players have now taken to social media...
Idemo u finaleeeee, samo hrvatskaaa..!!!🇭🇷⚽️🙏— Ivan Rakitic (@ivanrakitic) July 11, 2018
We are in the final 🇭🇷⚽!!! Yeeeesssss!!!! This is amazing 🙌🙏🔥!!! #WorldCup
¡Estamos en la final del Mundial 🇭🇷⚽! ¡Increíble poder vivir esto 🙌🙏🔥! #Rusia2018 #iznadsvihhrvatska pic.twitter.com/KNBZqTjHOb
Večer i osjećaji koje nikad nećemo zaboraviti 🇭🇷❤️💪🏼🎉 #iznadsvih #Hrvatska #lavovi #svegori🔥 #nemapredaje #slavonskibrod #vecerasjenasafesta #svikaojedan #inatisehrvatska #stepbystep #neverstop #mm17🌪 pic.twitter.com/Jz4Xwuc0X3— Mario Mandžukić MM17 (@MarioMandzukic9) July 11, 2018
Some more England stars past and present weigh in on what was a brilliant World Cup run.
Devastated. Absolutely gutted. Thanks to the fans for your incredible support. 🏴🦁❤️ pic.twitter.com/8fiWVdXrAY— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 11, 2018
Was an honour to represent my country at the world cup. The squad we have is a great bunch of lads who are willing to learn and give everything and we can hold our heads high. Thank you to everyone who supported our journey 👏🏾 we dont stop here! ⬆ #ThreeLions 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/QuZ6XOmgOj— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) July 11, 2018
Far exceeded expectations. Well done @England and well done @GarethSouthgate you have been brilliant. Given us great entertainment and found a system and given us hope. #threelions #RussiaWorldCup2018— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) July 11, 2018