World Cup Results 2018: Quarter-Finals Scores and Semi-Finals Bracket
England and Croatia joined France and Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals with victories during Saturday’s action in Russia.
The Three Lions scored once in each half and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford came up with a couple of clutch saves to prevent a late Sweden surge in their 2-0 win over the Blagult. Meanwhile, the Vatreni ended Russia’s hopes of winning the World Cup with a triumph on penalty kicks.
Let’s check out the complete set of results from Saturday and look ahead to the tournament schedule for next week’s semifinals. That’s followed by a recap of the quarterfinal fixtures. To view the updated bracket, visit the event’s official website.
Saturday’s Quarterfinal Scores
England defeated Sweden, 2-0
Croatia defeated Russia, 2-2 (4-3 after penalties)
France vs. Belgium: Tuesday, July 10 at 2 p.m. ET (7 p.m. BST)
Croatia vs. England: Wednesday, July 11 at 2 p.m. ET (7 p.m. BST)
England 2, Sweden 0
Leicester City defender Harry Maguire picked an opportune time to score his first international goal as he outjumped the Swedish back line to head home an Ashley Young corner to give England a 1-0 lead at the half-hour mark.
Although the match was competitive leading up to that opening goal, the Three Lions still looked in control during the run of play and never relinquished their advantage on the scoreboard.
Dele Alli increased the lead in the 59th minute with a header of his own off a pinpoint cross from Jesse Lingard.
Sweden did amplify its attacking pressure over the final 30 minutes as a last-gasp attempt to mount a comeback. Pickford, who’s impressed throughout the tournament despite the lack of a clean sheet before Saturday, rose to the occasion to keep the Blagult at bay.
England was the better side. It played a composed brand of football that should translate well to the business end of the tournament.
Manager Gareth Southgate and the Three Lions received support from England Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter after the win.
Southgate deserves a boatload of credit for getting England to play such a tactically sound brand of football, especially over the past 12 months. It’s carried into the World Cup and put the national team in position to win the event for the first time since 1966.
Croatia 2, Russia 2 (4-3 on penalties)
Croatia outlasted Russia in a dramatic quarterfinal that finished with penalty kicks after the sides exchanged goals in both regulation and extra time. It’s the second World Cup semifinal appearance for the Croatians.
As expected, it was an electric atmosphere at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, with the host nation looking to move within two victories of raising the World Cup on home soil.
The massive crowds weren’t limited to the venue. TalkSport showcased the reaction in the capital, Moscow, when Denis Cheryshev scored in the 31st minute to give the Russians a 1-0 lead.
Croatia answered less than 10 minutes later, as Andrej Kramaric leveled the score.
The score remained deadlocked throughout a tightly played second half to force extra time.
Domagoj Vida shocked the crowd as he was on the receiving end of a well-placed Luka Modric corner, and his ensuing header somehow found its way through a maze of players in the box into the net.
With hope fading, Russia sent shockwaves through the crowd as a late free-kick opportunity led to Mario Fernandes’ equaliser, which came on a perfectly placed header into the corner in the final minutes of extra time.
The final whistle blew to send the match to penalty kicks. There, Ivan Rakitic played the role of hero as Croatia earned its berth in the semis on his final conversion from the spot for the second straight game.Now the question for Croatia isn’t whether it has the talent to win the World Cup, but rather if it has enough energy left after back-to-back extra-time matches to open the knockout stage. England’s pace will be a serious test for what could be a fatigued back line Wednesday.