World Cup Matchday 21 Wrap

World Cup Matchday 21 Wrap
Players of Croatia celebrate winning the penalty shoutout of the FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter final soccer match between Russia and Croatia in Sochi, Russia, 07 July 2018

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jul 07, 2018. 23:11

Matchday 21 of the 2018 World Cup featured a dramatic end to the quarterfinals, as hosts Russia were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Croatia at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.

The match finished 2-2 after extra time, with Denis Cheryshev and Mario Fernandes on target for Russia, while Croatia’s goals were netted by Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida.

Yet it was Fernandes who ultimately went from hero to zero for the ‘Golden Eagles’, missing the hosts’ third kick. This allowed Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic to net the final penalty and put his country into a first semifinal since their ‘golden generation’ in 1998.

The afternoon game saw England claim a dominant 2-0 win over Sweden at the Cosmos Arena in Samara, putting them into a first semifinal since Italy 1990.

Gareth Southgate’s men opened the scoring on the half hour mark through defender Harry Maguire, who powered home a header from a corner kick.

The second goal arrived just before the 60-minute mark, with Dele Alli nodding beyond Robin Olsen to put the ‘Three Lions’ in complete control.

England saw out the game in relative comfort, with Sweden only able to force a couple of good saves out of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The ‘Three Lions’ and ‘The Blazers’ will meet in the second semifinal, set for the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday, July 11.

Matchday 21, Saturday 7 July – Results

Quarterfinals, match 3 – Sweden 0-2 England
Quarterfinals, match 4 – Russia 2-2 Croatia – after extra time, Croatia won 4-3 on penalties

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