South Tyneside roars for Three Lions despite England's World Cup heartbreak in quarter-finals against France
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Hearts were left broken after England lost 2-1 to France in Saturday, December 10’s quarter-final, bringing their dreams of World Cup glory in Qatar to a close. During the competition, fans in South Tyneside cheered on the England players, including plentiful support for local lads and former Sunderland AFC stars Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford.
The England squad also featured Newcastle United players Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson, who played in the tournament’s group stages, and goalkeeper Nick Pope, who didn’t play.
During England’s run, many fans flocked to the home of South Shields FC, the 1st Cloud Arena, to watch the games and cheer on the team.
In a statement on social media shared on Sunday, the club said: “Sadly, it wasn't to be for our Three Lions last night and the dream must go on hold for another three-and-a-half years. We'd like to thank everyone who supported our big World Cup nights at 1st Cloud Arena throughout the tournament.”
Newcastle striker Wilson was an injury doubt ahead of Saturday’s game, but was declared fit enough to make the bench for the quarter-final, where he was an unused substitute. The Magpies' head coach Eddie Howe, who has been in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with his players, says the club’s medical team have been in regular contact with Wilson since he joined up with his country last month.
Despite a promising start to the game on Saturday, England went 1-0 down in the first half thanks to a long-range effort from Aurelien Tchouamen. Harry Kane later equalised from the penalty spot.
The heartbreak for England came when France took the lead for a second time thanks to an Olivier Giroud header. Kane then missed England’s second penalty of the game, which would have put them level. France will face now Morocco in the semi-final this week. The winners will then face either Argentina or Croatia in the final on Sunday, December 18.
Following the defeat, the England players flew back to the UK earlier on Sunday, while manager Gareth Southgate has said he needs time to reflect and make a decision on his future.