England’s hopes of a World Cup win were dashed in a nail-biter of a semi-final last night as they lost 2-1 to Croatia in extra time.

Around 37 million people are thought to have tuned in to watch Gareth Southgate’s squad play for a place in what would have been their country’s first World Cup final since 1966.

Excitement and tension began to build early ahead of yesterday’s game at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, with British Airways handing out 300 waistcoats, as made famous by the England manager, to customers flying from Heathrow to the Russian capital.

In a nod to England captain Harry Kane, signs at Terminal 5 showed customers where to “ChecK-ane” for the 8.45am flight, while fans were offered St George’s flag face painting as well as boarding passes with the customer name entered as “football” and the destination as “home”.

The three words “it’s coming home”, from the Lightning Seeds’ anthem, have become the mantra of the team’s support as they stormed through the competition.

Ten of thousands of fans took to London’s Hyde Park and other venues across the country to watch the semi-final on a huge screens.

However, in Scotland, the reaction was more mixed, with thousands backing England’s opponents throughout the World Cup as part of the “friendly rivalry” between the two countries.

In Glasgow, shops said they were swamped with requests for the distinct red and white chequered first kit of England’s Croatian opponents.

A spokesman for the Nike shop in Glasgow said they had been “absolutely inundated with requests for Croatia shirts”, while Greaves Sports said it had completely sold out the tops before the crunch match.

Managing director Sandy Greaves said it showed the fun rivalry that “normally happens any time England plays”.

“Last Saturday morning all the die-hard Scottish fans wanted the Swedish jersey,” he added.

“It’s a Scottish thing. I’m sure the same thing happens down south.”The rivalry was on open display in some pubs in Glasgow, where there were loud cheers as Croatia took the lead in extra time.

“I was supporting Croatia,” said Jonny Cowan, 29, from Kilmarnock, who was watching the match in the Waxy O’Connors pub next to Queen Street station.

“I mean, it’s all about the friendly rivalry.

“It’s all good natured, but we’re the auld enemies.”

James Milligan, 24, from Tradeston, who saw the semi-final in The Raven in Renfield Street, said: “I’m not like a lot of people that didn’t want England to win.

“But still I wanted Croatia to win.

“If England were to win the final, we would never hear the end of it.”

However, there may have been more Scottish support for the England side abroad.

Royal Bank of Scotland said it had seen a 70 per cent increase in the number of debit card transactions in Russia over the course of the World Cup, compared to

a normal day outside of the tournament.

Haydn Williams, from RBS, said it was either a matter of Scotland fans secretly supporting England “or perhaps they have been there supporting Tunisia, Panama, Belgium, Colombia, Sweden and Croatia”.

There was also irritation for some Scottish viewers, with reports that the STV Player had gone down just minutes before the end of the cliffhanger semi-final.

Jamie and Ruth Aitken, from Peterborough, in Glasgow on holiday, said they were a “a bit apprehensive” about watching the game in Scotland.

Ms Aitken, who the saw the game at Waxy O’Connors, said: “We asked people in the hotel where we should watch it and they said ‘in our room’.

And we were in Croatia a few weeks ago, so we thought we might get a better reaction there. But it’s been fine and people have been really friendly.”

And Kenny Singh, 25, from Crookston, said he was supporting England “because half my family are from there.”