World Cup Fever
— 11 Jul 2018, 13:24 by Lauren Furey
World Cup fever has truly gripped Boxpark Croydon!
Our versatile site in the heart of one of London’s most exciting and diverse towns has placed football fans from around the world at heart of the World Cup action; none more so than when England are on the pitch.
It all started when England played their first group stage game against Tunisia. Boxpark was buzzing with energy as fans donned the three lions and took their seats, but once the goals started flowing, there was a feeling that something special was happening.
This World Cup squad played with more gusto and determination than we’ve seen in the tournament since ’98. England’s energy and team spirit was palpable and created a shift in the fans. It seemed like the days of half-hearted and disappointing England defeats might well be behind us.
This pride soared to exhilarating levels when we smashed Panama 6-1 in the following match.
Belgium was always going to be a tough contender (having only just lost out their place in the final to France), and a respectable 1-0 defeat placed us in second place for the knockout stages.
In the knockout stages, England played, arguably, one of their most intense games against Colombia, who did their utmost to keep us down – literally; poor Harry Kane suffered a brutal takedown in the box, which, sadly for Colombia, cost them a penalty and saw England take the lead. But it was a last chance corner from Colombia that saw them catch up and after a nail biting extra 30 minutes of play, the game went to penalties.
Truly the worst possible outcome for England at such a crucial stage of the tournament - our history of World Cup penalties being spectacularly bad – but it seemed like fortune favoured the brave when Colombia’s Mateus Uribe’s shot hit the bar and Jordan Pickford’s save gave us the advantage we needed with Eric Dier planting his shot in the back of the net and seeing us through to the quarter finals!
Last weekend’s game against Sweden couldn’t have gone any better. Our set pieces, energy and drive saw us pushing back and creating opportunities that ultimately bested our Scandinavian rivals. Croydon was famously caught in a wave of utter euphoria as BBC1’s pundits, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand were all caught up in the Boxpark madness, commending everyone for the pure energy displayed at England’s victory. Rio even retweeted the viral celebrations!
Now it all comes down to tonight. It’s been 28 years since England came this close to World Cup glory. Tension is mounting and spirits are rising as we get behind the boys and wish them all the very best in tonight’s game against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Croatia are going to put up a fight and they’re undoubtedly dangerous on the pitch, but the England team cannot be underestimated in their skill, flair and passion. We’re expecting incredible scenes tonight at Boxpark Croydon and, indeed, around the country as fans get ready to sing and cheer our boys onto World Cup glory.
It just might be coming home.