FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: England beats Sweden, Croatia knocks out hosts Russia

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

On Saturday, England defeated Sweden 2–0 in the FIFA football World Cup quarter-finals and the hosts Russia lost to Croatia 3–4 on penalties. Croatia are to play England for the spot in the finals.

Sweden vs England

Sweden faced England at the Samara Arena. England had higher ball possession. English forward Harry Kane missed a chance to open the scoring from outside the penalty area in the 19th minute from Raheem Sterling's assist. The English side scored the first goal in the 30th minute as Harry Maguire scored a header from Ashley Young's assist. It was Maguire's first goal in an international match. Sterling had an opportunity in the 45th minute to double the lead for England, but his shot was blocked. The first half ended with Sweden trailing by one goal.

In the second half, Sweden got a chance to equalise, but England's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved Marcus Berg's header. Just before the one-hour mark, Jesse Lingard assisted Dele Alli, and Alli scored a goal from a header, doubling the lead for England. Marcus Berg's attempt to open the scoring for Sweden from John Guidetti's assist was blocked by Pickford. Lingard had a chance to triple the lead in the 82nd minute from Harry Kane's assist but was blocked. In the 85th minute, England made a substitution when Eric Dier replaced Jordan Henderson. The match ended 2–0 as England advanced to the semi-finals.

After the match, England's coach Gareth Southgate said, "I can't speak highly enough of the whole squad and whole group of staff because it is so united in there. The level of work has been great and their commitment to each other, you don't get through with just 11 players. They are all top people and are the reason we are in the semi-final just as much as any other."

Russia vs Croatia

Hosts Russia faced Croatia at Sochi's Fisht Stadium. Croatia dominated ball possession. Russia opened the scoring in the 31st minute, when Denis Cheryshev scored a long-range goal from outside the penalty area in the top left corner, from Artem Dzyuba's assist. But Russia's lead did not last long as Andrej Kramarić scored a header in the 39th minute, assisted by Mandžukić. The first half ended with both sides with one goal each.

In the second half, Ivan Perišić missed an opportunity in the 60th minute to double the score for Croatia as his shot rebounded from the woodwork. Russia replaced Cheryshev with Fedor Smolov in the 67th minute. Croatia's Mateo Kovačić came on for Kramarić in the 88th minute. The second half ended with both sides tied to one goal and the match progressed to extra time.

In the 100th minute, Croatia doubled their score as Domagoj Vida scored a goal from Luka Modrić's assist. In the 114th minute, Josip Pivarić was yellow-carded for a handball and Russia won a free kick. Mario Fernandes scored a header from Alan Dzagoev's free-kick as both sides were tied with two goals at the end of extra time and the match went on to penalties.

The Croatian goalkeeper saved Smolov's penalty while Fernandes missed his, sending the ball to the left. Marcelo Brozović, Modrić and Vida scored their penalties for Croatia, while Kovačić's kick was saved. Sergei Ignashevich and Daler Kuzyaev scored for Russia, and Ivan Rakitić scored the winning goal for Croatia.

After the match, Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalić said, "Congratulations to my lads but also to the Russia team, who fought well. This was not a beautiful game, it was a fight, a battle for the semi-final. We were lucky." Dalić added, "Of course there is some power left for the English. We do not want to stop, we will try to play our best game. We have two matches to play and we are very motivated. We're giving our all. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us."

July 7, 2018
1800 SAMT (UTC+0400)
Sweden 0–2 England Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
Attendance: 39,991
Referee:   Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
John Guidetti   87'
Sebastian Larsson   90+4'
0–1 (HT) Harry Maguire   30'
Dele Alli   58–59'
Harry Maguire   87'

July 7, 2018
2100 MSK (UTC+0300)
Russia 3–4 (penalties) Croatia Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Attendance: 44,287
Referee:   Sandro Meira Ricci (Brazil)
Denis Cheryshev   31'
Mario Fernandes   115'
Fedor Smolov  
Alan Dzagoev  
Mario Fernandes  
Sergei Ignashevich  
Daler Kuzyaev  
2–2 (a.e.t.) Andrej Kramarić   39'
Domagoj Vida   100'
Marcelo Brozović  
Mateo Kovačić  
Luka Modrić  
Domagoj Vida  
Ivan Rakitić