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FIFA World Cup Final Four Is Set

France, Belgium, England & Croatia Advance To Semifinals

July 07, 2018 - 5:06 pm

France and Belgium became the first two teams to advance to the semifinals of the World Cup Friday as  France defeated Uruguay 2-0 and Belgium defeat Brazil 2-1.  France and Belgium will face each other in one semifinal on Tuesday July 10 at 2 pm.

The final two spots in the semifinals were decided on Saturday as England faced off against Sweden and Croatia took on host nation, and surprise team of the tournament, Russia.

England and Sweden was the first match of the day and would be the 25th meeting between the countries with England holding a slight lead record wise at 8-7-9.  

England would strike first in this match as Harry McGuire would open up the scoring in the 30th minute and allow England to take the 1-0 lead heading into the Half.  Sweden came on strong in the 2nd half, but England Goalie Jordan Pickford made a couple big saves to keep them off of the score sheet and in the 58th minute Dele Alli made it 2-0 England and they made that score hold up and advanced to the World Cup semifinals for the 3rd time in the country's history, the last one being back in 1990. 

Russia and Croatia was the final Quarterfinal match and this was Russia's first appearance in a World Cup Quarterfinal since the breakup of the Soviet Union.  Croatia had also reached the Quarterfinals once before back in 1998 when they defeated Germany to advance to the semifinals that year.

Russia was able to take the early lead when Denis Cheryshev scored in the 31st minute, but Croatia was able to tie the game back up before half in the 39th minute when Andrej Kramaric found the back of the net and the game was tied 1-1 at the half.  The match would remain tied for the rest of regulation and this quarterfinal game would require extra time to decide who would fill the last spot in the semifinals.

And in the 100th minute, in the 1st half of extra time, Croatia took the 2-1 lead on a Goal by Domagoj Vida and it looked like that would be enough to allow Croatia to advance, but Russia tied the game back up at 2 in the 115th minute, 2nd half of extra time, and this match would go to penalty kicks.

Russia missed 2 of their first 3 penalty kicks and that put them in trouble early as Croatia made 2 out of the first 3. Both teams made their 4th and 5th shots and  Croatia advances to the semifinals with the 4-3 victory in penalty kicks.

Croatia will take on England in the semifinals on Wednesday July 11th at 2 pm.

For more information on the World Cup: https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/ 

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