Vengeance of The Three Lions: England enters quarter-final stage in World Cup
In the early hours of July 4, Beijing time, the last two World Cup quarter-finalists were selected. Sweden beat Switzerland at 1-0; England beat Columbia 4-3 in a penalty shootout. The Three Lions Coach Gareth Southgate filled the gap of regret he created 22 years ago (1996 Semi-Final Euro Cup, the 26-year-old defender Gareth Southgate had missed a penalty shootout, England were defeated by Germany).
It’s been twelve years since England last entered the semi-final stage. These are some reactions from the public:
“I really hope the incoherent yelling from neighbors is football-related and I’m not ignoring a murder”
“I can hear the entire road screaming, I love this country.”
@davidbeckham Seriously now, I know what it feels like…. Wow .. ComeOnEngland 🏴 @england
@KensingtonRoyal “I couldn’t be prouder of @england – a victory in a penalty shootout! You have well and truly earned your place in the final eight of the #worldcup and you should know the whole country is right behind you for Saturday! Come on England! W.”
After the match, coach Southgate said that “Today is a special moment for this team and it’ll hopefully give belief to the generations of players that will follow because they can see what has happened.” In fact this year, England have been practicing, studying and developing strategies for penalty shoot-outs since March. ”We’ve done various different studies and had individual practice.”
English love for football can be traced as far back as medieval times. The first official international football match also involved England: it was played in 1872 in Glasgow between Scotland and England. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside Great Britain.
Today, there are over 40,000 registered football clubs in England—more than any other country in the world!
Despite the fact England is home to one the oldest international football clubs, it has only actually won the World Cup once in 1966. You can imagine why the whole country went crazy when England finally entered the quarter-final stage.
The Lions have a history going back to the 12th century, when a standard with three gold lions on a red field was carried into battle to inspire the troops.
The first one came from Henry I – known as the Lion of England – who had a lion on his standard on taking power in 1100. Shortly afterwards he married Adeliza, whose father also had a lion on his shield, and to commemorate the event he added a second lion to his standard. In 1154, two lions became three when Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, who – yes, you’ve guessed it – also had a lion her family crest.
Later that century, Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) used the three golden lions on a scarlet background as a symbol of the English throne and, after that, it appeared on the Royal Arms of every succeeding monarch.
So when the Football Association was formed in 1863, it seemed natural enough to base their logo on this stirring royal shield. Since then, the design has only been changed once, in 1949 – when the crown that was on top of the lions was removed to differentiate the badge from that of the English cricket team.
This year, the young but experienced England team has showed the world what it’s capable of. With excellent ability to perform under pressure, the young team has managed to break the ‘curse’ of penalty shootouts and transform the match. We hope to see even better performance during the game between England and Sweden on Saturday.