#ItsComingHome is the hashtag trending in the UK in the hopes of an England Win against Croatia in today’s World Cup semi final match in Russia, but what are the country’s chances? For the first time in decades there is a very real opportunity for an England win.
Despite playing a key role in the historic development of the game and its rise to popularity in schools and football associations, England has only won the world cup once, in 1966. And the last time the country was represented in the semifinals was in 1990. So, the fact that the England team have made it into the semi finals in Russia is a huge achievement, especially for younger fans who’ve never seen England in a Word Cup semi before.
The 2018 Fifa World Cup has been full of surprises with some of the top teams being knocked out in the early stages so anything could still happen. The three remaining teams are all from Europe – France, Croatia and England. France beat Belgium yesterday to gain a place in the final and England plays Croatia today. The winner of this match will play against France in the final on Sunday July 15th. France last won the World Cup in 1998.
England is coached by former star player, Gareth Southgate. “Our supporters have had a long time of suffering in terms of football,” he said, “our country has been through some difficult times lately in terms of unity and we have had the chance to make a difference. Sport has the power to do that, and especially football.”
England is captained by Harry Kane. Harry, who is only 24, has already made a name for himself as the tournament’s highest goal scorer with six goals to date which is an amazing boost to England fans, giving them the confidence to dream!
Gareth Southgate has instilled a sense of humility in the team which is refreshing. The Daily Mail has described the England players as “The humble World Cup semi-finalists: Down-to-earth England make friends wherever they go.”
This is commendable. As believers we know, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:6) That is not to say God supports a particular team! God is more concerned about our character and than sports results. However, it is true that being humble and having a good attitude will always take one far in life.
Founded in the UK in 1995 many GOD TV viewers are England supporters, although the network also has many viewers in France, Belgium and Croatia as well so perhaps we find ourselves supporting different sides… Sure we can still pray for our national team, knowing the other side is praying for their’s!
Football after all is a game, affected by many factors and at the end of the day hopefully the best team wins. Of course we pray when we see a challenge, that is second-nature for Christians and England’s match against Colombia was an example of this.
The end of the game was excruciating to watch as no goals were scored by either half and it had to go to extra time and then penalties. The penalty shoot out was touch and go for England. I’m sure in those moments many were praying, “God help these boys!”
The game could have gone either way, but England finally won and they probably deserved to win as they appeared to be the stronger team and had most possession of the ball.
Football’s Coming Home
Many regard England as the home of football, the place where the game was first developed, grew in popularity and of course the British Premier League is the most lucrative in the world. In this song that captures the success of England’s 1966 World Cup Win, you can see how much an England win would mean to the country… “No more years of hurt, no more need for dreaming, talk about football coming home!