The quarterfinal matches are over! The big news is that Brazil are out of the tournament which means we will have, for a fourth straight World Cup, a European champion, the last non-European team being Brazil in 2002. Here are the highlights of the four matches.
Top 4: England Luckily Outlast Disappointing Sweden 0-2
Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored headers as England booked their place in a first World Cup semi-final since 1990 by beating Sweden 2-0.
Maguire and Alli struck either side of half-time in Samara on Saturday to move the Three Lions into the last four, and they will face either Croatia or hosts Russia on Wednesday.
Highlights: H. Maguire 30′; D. Alli 58′
58′ GOOOOOAL! 2-0! England double their lead! Another sweeping cross is floated towards the far post where Alli has escaped his marker, heading home with ease. England are in dreamland!
30′ GOOOOOOAL! 1-0! England take the lead! It’s another set-piece! Young floats a corner into the middle where Maguire rises above the Sweden defence to head home his first international goal.
Top 3: France Continue World Cup Domination, Advance to Semifinals 2-0 Against Uruguay
Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann scored as France advanced to a World Cup semi-final against either Belgium or Brazil after easing past Uruguay on Friday.
Following an opening passage high on energy but bereft of quality, Varane glanced home a Griezmann free-kick to open the scoring before the Atletico Madrid man doubled France’s advantage just after the hour mark in a moment to forget for Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Highlights: R. Varane 40′; A. Griezmann 61′
61′ GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!! A NIGHTMARE FOR MUSLERA!!!! GRIEZMANN SCORES 2-0!!! France could be on their way to their last four as Griezmann doubles their lead. The forward is afforded space and time on the edge of the box and he fires at goal on his left boot. It’s straight at Muslera, but he has a howler, palming the ball straight into his own net. A shocker from the Uruguay keeper.
40′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! VARANE HEADS FRANCE IN FRONT!!!! 1-0!!! Les Bleus take the lead as Varane glances his header into the net. Griezmann floated a precise free-kick towards the middle, taking a slight stutter before his delivery to confuse the Uruguay backline. His hesitation and the accuracy of the delivery allowed Varane to get ahead of Stuani. The defender placed his effort into the corner away from Muslera to put France ahead.
Top 2: Who, if not you? When, if not now? Host Russia take a bow as Croatia advance to the semifinals: 2-2 (3-4 Pen)
Nobody – not even their own fans – expected Russia to make it beyond the group stages of this World Cup. Their fairytale may come to an end at Fisht Olympic Stadium – but what an adventure it has been. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have punched above their weight at every opportunity and took out 2010 world champions Spain on their way to the quarter-finals; they can bow out with their head held high.
Highlights: D. Cheryshev 31′; M. Fernandes 115′; A. Kramarić 39′; D. Vida 100′
115′ AND THEY GET IT THROUGH FERNANDES! RUSSIA EQUALISE! 2-2! The boy from Brazil – representing the host nation thanks to a presidential decree – nods home Dzagoev’s free-kick with a great glancing header to tuck it into the bottom-left corner. What a goal; what a game we have on our hands.
100′ VIDA GIVES CROATIA THE LEAD! From a soft corner conceded after Kutepov blasted a safe cross out of his own keeper’s hands, it is the Besiktas man who gives his side the advantage for the first time in this game with a well-directed header that flies in at the bottom-right corner. Russia are stunned – they trail after 100 minutes.
39′ KRAMARIC EQUALISES FOR CROATIA! 1-1! Russia’s eight-minute lead comes to an abrupt end as they concede a soft goal on the back of a Mandzukic break, with the striker turning in a simple cut-back pass off the left wing, unmarked, for his teammate to head home behind Akinfeev on the right. Simple football; the hosts were caught in a woeful position there. All square in Sochi.
31′ CHERYSHEV FOR RUSSIA! 1-0! What an outrageous strike from the Villarreal man! Dzyuba slips around the Croatian defence and squares a ball to his striker, who takes one step around Vida and launches a 25-yard shot that nestles itself behind a shocked Subasic in the top-left corner! The hosts have the lead just after the half-hour mark!
Top 1: Belgium Defeat Favorite Brazil 2-1; Stage for a Euro Cup Showdown All Set
Belgium booked a World Cup semi-final against France as Brazil’s hopes of winning a sixth title were ended by a 2-1 defeat in Kazan.
Brazil, ranked second in the world by FIFA, were the last remaining non-European team in the tournament after Les Bleus knocked out Uruguay in Friday’s first quarter-final.
Highlights: Fernandinho 13′ OG; K. De Bruyne 31′; Renato Augusto 76′
76′ RENATO AUGUSTO MAKES IT 2-1 AFTER NODDING HOME A COUTINHO CROSS! It’s the substitute who rises highest and gets his head to a sumptuous Phillipe Coutinho cross, beating Courtois, who has otherwise looked imperious today. It’s game on with just over 10 minutes to play!
31′ AND BELGIUM SCORE FROM THE COUNTER-ATTACK WITH KEVIN DE BRUYNE! 2-0 BELGIUM! Fellaini heads the ball away to Lukaku who charges all the way through midfield, dancing past a couple of markers. The Manchester United striker then locates Kevin De Bruyne perfectly just outside the area, and the midfielder takes an absolutely superb shot which beats Alisson! Belgium double their lead!
13′ BELGIUM CAPITALISE FROM THE SET-PIECE TO MAKE IT 1-0 AS FERNANDINHO TURNS IT IN HIS OWN NET! Vincent Kompany gets his head onto the corner at the near post and it takes a touch off what looks to be Fernandinho’s elbow and beats Alisson! Belgium have the lead