THERE were no scenes of jubilation in Oxford as England crashed out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage.

Instead the city’s pubs and living rooms were home to heartbreak as fans watched the Three Lions lose 2-1 to Croatia after extra-time.

Solemn supporters filed quietly out of the pubs and bars in George Street straight after the game as the nation was denied the chance to celebrate reaching its first World Cup final since 1966.

It was in stark contrast to the scenes on Saturday, when jubilant celebrations took over the street.


However, despite the disappointment many fans said they were proud of the players and the manager and felt they didn’t deserve to lose.

Football fan Jonathan Wade from Cowley was too young to remember England's last World Cup semi-final in 1990.

After watching the game in the Wig and Pen he said: "I'm absolutely gutted. It's heart breaking. I really thought we were going to do it.

"They've done everyone proud though.

"I don't think we deserved to lose to be honest."

Richard Bowman, also of Cowley added: "I can't put it into words how gutted I am.

"It's been a really good World Cup I honestly thought this could be our year, I just hope we don’t have to wait another 28 years for another semi final.”

The match had started positively with Kieran Trippier scoring a sublime free kick which sent fans watching at Oxford’s Wig and Pen into a frenzy in the fifth minute.

England looked in control during the first half with chant after chant of the now ubiquitous ‘It’s coming home’ ringing out.

However, the second half proved a nervier affair for England fans as Croatia piled on the pressure.

Then in the 68th minute supporters’ worst fears were realised when Ivan Perisic equalised.

The once raucous pub fell silent.


England fans eventually regained their belief with the atmosphere picking up towards the 90th minute with fans praying for a last-minute reprieve.

It didn’t come.

As the match went to extra time nerves went into overdrive with one fan in the Wig and Pen overheard declaring: “I actually feel physically sick with nerves”.

The nation’s World Cup dream finally came crashing down in the 109th minute as Mario Mandžukić ghosted in behind the England defence struck a low shot past Jordan Pickford to score the winner.


With England failing to find any reply, helpless fans began to accept their fate.

On the final whistle the pubs and bars emptied as fans made their way home dreaming of what could have been.

Shortly after the game a convoy of police vans and unmarked cars were spotted zooming through Cornmarket Street towards High Street.

Thames Valley Police has been asked for details of the call-out.