The World Cup quarterfinals were action packed. The final eight nations battled it out to move onto the chance to lift a trophy! The field was cut in half again as four sides move on as four head home. Our World Cup Review looks back at the quarterfinals and which final four nations move on to the semi-finals!
Uruguay: 0 France: 2
France is one of the youngest nations at the World Cup finals, and they’ve been one of the best. Uruguay have been solid and consistent. However they come into the match with France without attacker Edinson Cavani. Uruguay’s structure could not withstand France’s youth and quality.
From the start of the match it was clear that Uruguay were going to sit back, absorb French pressure, and counter attack. This paid off for the first 40 minutes of them match, then France found the break through. Antoine Griezmann sent a free kick into the box. Raphaël Varane met the ball in the box after losing his mark, he sent the headed chance into the net giving France the lead! The goal killed Uruguay’s spirit, which carried over to the second half.
Uruguay failed to get into the game, as their attack was simplified without Cavani. France pushed for a second goal and in the 61st minute they found it. Antoine Griezmann fired a long, and rather tame shot on goal. Fernando Muslera went to catch the shot, but mishandled it. The ball ended up in his net. The 2-0 score line killed off Uruguay, and France were able to see the clean sheet out.
France move on to the semi final to face either Belgium or Brazil.
Brazil: 1 Belgium: 2
Belgium have been one of the most consistent sides throughout the World Cup. They have yet to lose! Brazil have been hot and cold, but are still one of the most skilled sides in the tournament. Brazil’s flair was no match for Belgium’s sheer dominance.
As the match began both nations went back and forth creating attacks. Belgium found an early corner, and struck the opening goal. A corner was sent into Brazil’s box, and Fernandinho put the ball into his own net. As the half went on Brazil pushed for their equalizer. Alas they didn’t find it. As Brazil pushed they were caught out by Belgium. A great counter attack found the foot of Kevin De Bruyne. He fired a great strike that beat the keeper and gave Belgium the two goal lead into half time.
As the second half started, Brazil pushed even further since they needed two goals! As the match went on Brazil’s urgency pushed them. In the 76th minute they found one goal off the head of Renato Augusto. In the last 15 minutes Brazil produced many chances but none found their way into the net.
Belgium beat the mighty Brazil to make it to the semi-finals to take on France!
Sweden: 0 England: 2
England have been very un-England like at this world cup. They’ve made it past the round of 16 by winning a penalty shootout! Sweden have been defying the odds since qualification for the World Cup. they bested the Netherlands in qualifying and beat Italy in a playoff, on their way to getting to the quarterfinals. England were able to shock the World again by beating Sweden.
As them match started Sweden looked to be on the front foot. They ran forward and it took great stops by England’s defense to stop them. After a few scares England got back into the match. At the 30th minute England won a corner. A ball was swung into the box and Harry Maguire headed the chance home! England found a way to maintain their lead into half time!
In the second half England left off where the first half ended. In the first 15 minutes of the half, England won a corner. A ball was sent into the box and found a wide open Dele Alli on the back post. He headed home the chance to double the England’s lead. As the match furthered into the end stages, Sweden pushed for goals but came up short!
England are through to the semi’s, which have many thinking that “Football is coming home!”
Russia: 2 (3) Croatia: 2 (4)
The Host’s Russia made their surprise run to the quarterfinals on the backs of relentless defending and their nation behind them. Croatia have been the country who have flown under the radar. Their good players and strong play have carried them to the quarters. Croatia outlasted Russia in penalties to advance to the semi-finals!
In a first half where there was very tactical, there were only fireworks in an eight minute span. at the 31st minute mark Russia opened the scoring. Denis Cheryshev fired a shot on target that was deflected and ended up in Croatia’s net. Seven minutes later, some good build up play from Croatia led to a Andrej Kramarić tying goal! The first half ended 1-1.
The entire second half was Croatia attacking Russia defending. Alas nothing came of the Croatian attack. The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. Then fireworks came in extra time. in the first 15 minutes Croatia tallied a goal through a Domagoj Vida header. In the second 15 minutes Russia equalized off of a Mário Fernandes snap header. The game moved to penalties!
Croatia had the early numbers advantage as Russia missed two of their first three penalties. However Russia were still in it after a Croatia miss. It came down to Croatia making their last two penalties. If they made them, they were through. Croatia stepped up and got the job done knocking out the host nation Russia!
Croatia are on to the semi’s to play England!
Semi’s Are Set:
Two great matches are now set as France take on Belgium, and England take on Croatia. The semi-finals are an all European affair at Russia 2018. Only one match stands between the final four nations and a chance to become champions of the world!
And then, there was four…
WED: #CROENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/a9q9bNx9oe
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 7, 2018
Tuesday, July 10th
France vs Belgium – 2 pm EST – Fox/Telemundo
Wednesday, July 11th
Croatia vs England – 2 pm EST – Fox/Telemundo
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Mandatory Credit: Sipa USA-USA TODAY Sports