England’s official Twitter account mirrors the rollercoaster fan experience

Sport is among the greatest things on earth because — at the best of times like the worst of times — it gives you an insight into the raw state of human emotion. Whether your team is destroying the competition on the biggest stage or faltering in heartbreaking fashion, they will always give you a glimpse of feeling and sentiment at the heart of the human experience.

Such was the case Wednesday night, when England fell in brutal fashion to Croatia in a World Cup semi final. The Three Lions came out of the gates at speed and appeared to be beaming with confidence after Kieran Trippier blasted a Beckham-esque free kick to put England ahead in the fifth minute. But after halftime, everything fell apart for Southgate’s squad, and Croatia advanced to the final thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal in extra time.

In games like this — one that makes you scream in jubilation before tearing your hair out in disbelief — the social media accounts of the team in question has to mirror the emotion of their supporters. Just like fans the length and breadth of the country, the England Twitter account was beaming with confidence before the semi final, as two knockout round victories had instilled everyone with a fresh batch of confidence.

As soon as Trippier’s free kick blazed past Danijel Subasic’s reach, Hyde Park in London had turned into a mad house and England were celebrating what was a very early and encouraging lead over the Croats.

Unfortunately for them, they would only go on to place one more shot on target, and as the clock ticked forward and the Three Lions missed on key chances, confidence waned. Seemingly intent on protecting a 1-0 lead, the tension coming from the official account was the same as that felt back in Hyde Park.

Naturally, there was a tone shift from the @England account when Ivan Perisic bundled home the equaliser, and with the game back to all square, the tension was even more pronounced when extra time came around.

Every Three Lions supporter in every pub across the country will have felt the same deadpan emotion mixed with a dash of hopeless prayer when what turned out to be the winning goal was smashed home by Mario Mandzukic.

Ultimately, though, this is a World Cup defeat that comes with silver linings. England weren’t supposed to make it this far, yet they advanced as far as they have in 30 years. English fans spend more of their time expecting the worst from their Three Lions, but this Southgate-led team had everyone hoping for the best.

It didn’t come home, but England have every reason to keep their chins up. For the official account, the focus will, in time, move on to the next tournament where their exciting team will be contenders again – just like the fans.

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