The next round of World Cup fixtures was finalised tonight after Group G and Group…
A country drained of passion and belief,
Step up Southgate, our new commander in chief,
Still we looked with lingering doubt,
“This team cannot end our long World Cup drought.”
We watched, us few who expected the same,
But England were winning game after game,
Our confidence grew with our unbeaten streak,
And we began the count down to the starting week.
A tough opening game for our young team,
But as they triumphed 2-1, a nation started to dream,
The manager and players kept calm in the heat,
It seemed as though they just couldn’t be beat.
The next fixture was a goal scoring attack,
The fears of the past were being beaten back,
Players, fans and back room staff shouting,
“It’s coming home!” as new hope was sprouting.
The weather was hot and the fans were all out,
England it seemed, were in with a shout,
One game left which we didn’t need to win,
Even when we lost we had bumps on our skin.
England through to the last sixteen!
Our Colombian opponents wrestling on screen,
Southgate kept calm and so did the players,
“They’ll never survive!” piped up the nay-sayers.
A colossal save to keep England in it,
“If we keep our heads up, we might even win it!”
Penalties. A word which we English all dread,
It seemed like a nation’s hopes were now dead.
Time stood still, seconds stuck fast,
Memories crept in of our disastrous past,
But “WHAT A SAVE!” it comes down to one,
It went in! Euphoria! England had won.
The reactions were huge, with beer glasses flying,
England’s World Cup curses were dying,
A penalty shootout which we didn’t lose,
The team and manager were all over the news!
Sweden was next and the nation had found
An undying hope that we’d reach the next round,
Southgate was taking nothing for granted,
As England fans watched like they were enchanted.
A win looked easy, the team in control,
Sweden never looked like scoring a goal,
The keeper made sure that his sheet stayed clean,
He looked like a diving, goal saving machine!
We were through! Incredible! Semi-finals loomed!
We’d done so much better than we all assumed,
England believed, passion reignited,
A nationwide party with everyone invited.
Dreams of the final were starting to fester,
Croatia though would be a big tester,
The build-up was immense, the nation prayed,
Tears now depended on how this was played.
Going up in the first half with an awesome free kick,
Too early to just start watching the clock tick,
The second half brought heartbreak and pain,
The hot spell was over, outside threatened rain.
Some people were understandably down,
But the fans in the stadium didn’t even frown,
They sang and cheered and cried out aloud,
For the team and manager that made us all proud.
We may not have won, not completed the ride,
But as a nation, we regained our pride.
We’ll get up again and dust ourselves down,
Keep searching for our lost World Cup crown,
We’ll never forget when as a nation we saw,
The team that reawakened the three lions’ roar.