The wait is almost over as England take on Croatia in a World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990. The Three Lions will be looking to book a place in the World Cup final in Russia against France, who beat Belgium last night.
Tournament football has been somewhat of a disappointment in recent years with plenty of misery and hurt, but Gareth Southgate has managed to get it right this time around, leading a side with real togetherness to some spirited performances which have brought the nation together.
England have featured in four tournament semifinals before, winning one and losing one, whilst they have drawn the remaining two before being knocked out via a penalty shootout at the last hurdle.
While this may not make great reading, it feels different in Russia and there is real optimism that England can reach the World Cup final for the first time since 1966. And we all know what happened there.
Here is a look at the previous tournament semi-finals that have involved England.
England 2-1 Portugal: World Cup 1966
England overcame Portugal in 1996 prior to the final which saw them win their first World Cup. Bobby Charlton scored in each half for England and whilst Portuguese legend Eusebio scored from the spot late on after Jack Charlton handled in the area, the Three Lions held on and went all the way on home soil. Remarkably, Eusebio’s penalty was first goal England conceded in the tournament.
Yugoslavia 1-0 England: Euro 1968
England looked to follow on from World Cup glory two years later in Italy in the European Championships but they were undone in Florence and Sir Alf Ramsey’s side couldn’t add to the trophy cabinet. Dragan Dzajic scored the only goal of the game, beating Gordon Banks. England also saw Alan Mullery sent off as Yugoslavia went on to lose to the host nation in the final.
West Germany 1-1 England: World Cup 1990
After Andreas Brehme gave West Germany the lead on the hour mark via a wicked deflection that looped over Peter Shilton, England were chasing. With ten minutes to go, Gary Lineker equalised to level the scores and take the game the extra time. Eventually penalties were required with both sides keeping their nerve. Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley and David Platt scored for England, but Stuart Pearce saw his spot-kick saved. with Olaf Thon slotting home for the Germans, Chris Waddle had to score but he failed to convert and England were knocked out in Turin.
Germany 1-1 England: Euro 1996
Germany and England once again drew 1-1 in a semi-final. Alan Shearer gave England the lead at Wembley before Stafan Kuntz equalised. Penalties were once again required to progress to the final. Shearer and David Platt scored, Pearce made amends for 1990 and Paul Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham also scored. With the shootout moving into sudden death, Andreas Moller scored which meant the current manager Southgate had to do the same. But Southgate saw his penalty saved and England once again crashed out.
Can Southgate lead the three lions to the final and help repay for his own misfortunes?
Croatia have made it to the semi finals via two penalty shootouts. Will they be facing France in Moscow?