2018 FIFA World Cup: Day 24 Round-up

England's Dele Alli celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

After 24 days of drama, cupsets, diving and VAR controversy, we finally know who our top four countries are at this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Today’s last pair of Quarter-Finals saw Sweden face England before Croatia took on the hosts, Russia for the two last semi-final spots. 


England 2-0 Sweden

World Cup - Quarter Final - Sweden vs England
Harry Maguire sent England on their way to the Semi-Finals after netting his first ever international goal. (Reuters)

England ended a 28 year wait to make the semi-finals of a major tournament after a 2-0 victory over Sweden. 

In a scrappy first half, Sweden made the better start with Viktor Claesson firing over a shot from just outside of the penalty box. 

England soon took control and got their reward from a 31st minute corner, when Leicester’s Harry Maguire headed in unmarked for his first international goal. 

They took that lead into the break despite Raheem Sterling rounding Sweden’s Robin Olsen just before break, only to lose control and have shot blocked.

Marcus Berg and Emil Forsberg however attacked after half time with Berg’s header going closest, only to see Jordan Pickford punch it away.

England quickly made them pay for those missed chances, after a Jesse Lingard cross from edge of box found Dele Alli at back post to head in past a helpless Olsen and become England’s second youngest goal scorer ever.  

Jordan Pickford was however in outstanding form again to dent Sweden numerous chances, including a 72nd minute flick clearance of Berg’s shot over bar. 

In end, England claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory with their first clean sheet of the tournament. 


Russia 2-2 Croatia (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties)

World Cup - Quarter Final - Russia vs Croatia
Croatia stunned hosts to win on penalties to progress to the last four after Ivan Rakitic scored the winning spot kick. (Reuters)

Croatia are through to only their second ever semi final at a World Cup after seeing off hosts, Russia 4-3 on penalties following a dramatic 2-2 draw. 

Misses from Fyodor Smolov and Mateo Kovacic left the shootout poised at 1-1 after two kicks apiece sandwiched between goals for Marcelo Brozovic and Alan Dzagoev. 

Mario Fernandes then fired wide what proved to be a decisive penalty with Croatia winning after all remaining penalties had been taken. 

A quiet first half saw the action burst into life when Denis Cheryshev played a 1-2 with Artem Dzyuba, rounding a defender before firing into top left-hand corner to put the Russians in front.

Their lead was however short-lived after Andrej Kramaric brought Croatia back level via a header eight minutes later.

Both sides then had chances to win it in second half with Croatia going closest through Ivan Perisic, who found the left inside post from a Russian clearance only for ball to roll across line and out for goal kick. 

That meant extra time and Domagoj Vida handed The Blazers what looked to be a winner, after heading a corner kick into the bottom right corner. 

Russia however hit back after the break after earning a free kick following Josip Pivaric’s handball just outside of box. 

Up stepped Fernandes to head his effort into opposite side of where Vida put his 15 minutes earlier. 

With five minutes left, it set up a grandstand finish but in end, penalties it was with Croatia ultimately winning.

Wednesday’s semi-final will therefore see Croatia meet England for only second time in a major tournament, having last clashed at group stage of Euro 2004 when England won a 4-2 thriller. 


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