England team cheered on return
LONDON, England -- Thousands of England fans have greeted their team home, saving a special welcome for goalkeeper David Seaman who had been seen in tears after letting in Brazil's winning goal.
The Ronaldinho 35-yard freak free-kick ended England's World Cup dreams at the quarter-finals stage, with some commentators blaming the 38-year-old Arsenal goalie for letting the ball lob over his head. (Tearful Seaman)
Seaman later apologised for the decisive goal which allowed Brazil to go on to the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory.
But many of the 3,000 fans who turned up at Heathrow Airport at 10.43 p.m. (2143 GMT) on Saturday chanted his name.
Seaman, who was carrying his two-year-old daughter Georgina, and was accompanied by his wife and seven-month-old son Robbie, beamed and waved at the enthusiastic crowds.
The team had already been given a warm welcome home by about 100 airport workers and British Airways staff who joined the dozens of photographers and cameramen at the airport.
But glimpses of the team were limited as the players disembarked and made their way straight to the coaches that took them away from the west London airport.
During the 12-and-half hour flight from Osaka, Japan, British Airways staff fed the team and management meals that were a reminder of their stay in the Far East including chicken satay with oriental noodles or peppered salmon in a Japanese dressing.
Football Association (FA) head of communications Paul Newman told the UK's Press Association: "The mood was not one of disappointment. It was very relaxed and the players are pleased to be with their families and back home again."
In Turkey the party continued throughout the night after the team beat Senegal to reach the semi-finals for the first time in its history.
"Turkey is the greatest" read the newspaper headlines. The team beat Senegal 1-0 in extra-time with a golden goal and now face Brazil. (Match Report)
"We turned the African lion into a pussycat," said Sabah newspaper. "Your turn next, Brazil."
"I'm so happy, I'm so happy. I can't even express how I'm feeling," Havza Yilmaz, 40, a taxi driver in Ankara told Reuters.
More than six hours after the quarter-final, Taksim Square in Istanbul was still thronged with people singing and dancing, and the streets of Ankara resounded to the sound of car horns.
Turkish television showed pictures of expatriate Turks in Berlin taking to the streets to cheer their home team, which has now matched Germany in reaching the semi-finals.
Pictures showed Turks draping flags over traffic lights and streetlights.
Turkish soldiers in Kabul as part of the international peace-keeping force were also glued to the match
But celebrations turned violent in the suburbs of the Dutch city of The Hague when Turks and Kurds clashed.
Baton-wielding police cleared the area and Dutch media said two people were injured.
In London, two people were arrested when fighting broke out between Turks celebrating their team's World Cup victory and a Kurdish group.
It was only Turkey's second appearance in the World Cup, and the first for 48 years.
After a run of success in European competition they were aiming for a place in the last eight -- few dreamed they could come as far as they have, Reuters news agency reported.
"We have written the name of Turkey on world soccer, "Hurriyet newspaper said, reporting on celebrations by Turks around the world, from London to Azerbaijan.
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