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Emotional extremes for England World Cup fan Joe Bass in Moscow

Joe Bass with his Newark Town flag at the England match against Colombia.
Joe Bass with his Newark Town flag at the England match against Colombia.

Football fan Joe Bass was among thousands of England supporters in Moscow on Tuesday as England won their first World Cup penalty shoot-out.

Joe has been at every England match in the tournament in Russia, unfurling a huge flag of St George, with Newark Town emblazoned on it, at each stadium.

After the 4-3 shoot-out win over Colombia to reach the last eight, Joe, of Newark, said: "What a match. What a win, and what a way to win it.

"The no-hopers have reached the quarter-finals with a very good chance of reaching the semi-finals... and on penalties, our nemesis.

"We can now say with certainty we have broken that black spell.

"We were all ecstatic, celebrating for about an hour in the stadium after the match."

Joe, attending his third World Cup, said his hopes of success for the national team had never been higher.

The shoot-out drama came after the South Americans equalised in injury-time to force a 1-1 draw and extra-time,

"It wasn’t particularly pretty football and we had moments when our lack of talent was glaring," Joe said.

"At 1-0 I was happy to win ugly but, of course, England don’t like to make things easy for their fans.

"They had to let in an equaliser and subject us all to the customary (penalty)torture.

"We all groaned and when Jordan Henderson’s penalty was saved fans started to think about going home.

"But Colombia missed two, we scored our last penalty and it was triumph.

"How quickly, in a matter of seconds, you experience the extremes of emotion, from agony to exultation.

"That’s what it means to be an England fan. Emotionally, you go from one extreme to another."

Joe said he never thought England would lose.

"Something has changed in their chemistry, something that makes me feel excited and hopeful," he said.

"I don’t know what it is that has changed. We all felt it when Kane scored that last-gasp winner against Tunisia (in the opening match).

"We were heavily out-numbered by the Colombian fans but, as usual, we sang above our weight.

"I was dreading going back to the hostel if we had lost.

"My dorm is full of Colombians and I was ready to sleep on the roof if we had gone out."

Joe, who is keeping a World Cup diary that is being published on the Football Association’s website, said he was looking forward to the rest of the competition.

"Who can stop us now?" he said. "I don’t think Sweden (in the quarter-finals, on Saturday) will.

"We don’t have to fear anyone. Brazil? France? No matter who we get, we will have no fear."


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