France 4-2 Croatia 15/07/2018 Final FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 July 15 – Results and Highlights

France 4-2 Croatia: Sun July 15: France v Croatia – Moscow (Luzhniki), Full Time

France won the World Cup for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a pulsating final in Moscow that included a controversial use of VAR.France became World Champions for the second time after defeating Croatia 4-2 in Moscow! A fitting end to a great tournament – thanks for sharing it with us!

Player Ratings

France: Lloris (6), Pavard (7), Varane (7), Umtiti (7), Hernandez (7), Pogba (8), Kante (5), Matuidi (7), Griezmann (7), Giroud (6), Mbappe (7).

Subs: N’Zonzi (7), Tolisso (6), Fekir (6)

Croatia: Subasic (4), Vrsaljko (6), Lovren (5), Vida (5), Strinic (6), Brazovic (7), Rebic (6), Modric (7), Rakitic (7), Perisic (8), Mandzukic (6).

Subs: Kramaric (6), Pjaca (6)

Man of the match: Paul Pogba

A frustrating domestic campaign will be all-but-forgotten about now for France’s midfield maestro. Big players have the ability to peak at the right time and Pogba has certainly found his best form in the latter stages of this tournament. As others around him were being overrun in a one-sided first-half, Pogba kept his discipline and got his team playing further forward in the second-half. His ball to release Mbappe for the third goal, which he finished off, was the highlight of the match. A force of nature when he’s in this mood.


Match Description

    • France 4-2 Croatia
    • Mandzukic scores after Lloris howler (69)
    • Mbappe adds fourth (65)
    • Pogba scores France’s third (59)
    • Griezmann scores from spot (38)
    • VAR intervenes to hand France a penalty
    • Perisic equalises for Croatia (28)
    • Mandzukic og gives France lead (18)
    • France and Croatia unchanged

KANE WINS GOLDEN BOOT

I know this day is not about England but a quick word for Harry Kane, who has won the Golden Boot with six goals!

21:58
A WORD FOR CROATIA…

It’s smiles all round for France but you’ve got to feel for Croatia! They need a lot of credit for the way they played today and throughout this tournament. They’ve been brilliant and will certainly be one of the contenders for the 2020 European Championships.

FRANCE ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS
The final whistle blows, sparking wild celebrations from the French players. The players on the French bench run straight onto the field and there are hugs all round between Deschamps and his players!

21:54
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

It’s all over! France are world champions. They have won the World Cup for the second time after a 4-2 victory at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

21:53
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

90+4: At the other end Pogba uses his strength against Perisic to usher the ball out for a goal kick. France are just a minute away from World Cup glory…

21:52
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

90+3: FREE-KICK! Mbappe floats a free-kick into the path of Pogba, who has a clear sight of goal. The Manchester United midfielder takes his eye off the ball at the crucial moment, missing his kick before Vida clears.

21:51
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

90+2: YELLOW! Vrsaljko slides in and catches Griezmann. He’s too late into the challenge and rightly picks up a caution.

21:49
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

90: There will be FIVE minutes of added time…

21:49
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

90: FRUSTRATION! Brozovic gives away a free-kick before booting the ball away in frustration. He’s not going to get a yellow card because it’s his own team’s time he’s wasting.

21:48
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

88: WIDE! Rakitic tries his luck from 25 yards but it’s a tired effort, which Lloris watches past the upright.

21:45
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

87: Fekir’s down after Rakitic wraps a leg around him illegally and some precious seconds tick down for France. Fekir eventually takes aim but Subasic drops to the turf and gathers with minimum fuss.

21:44
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

85: Croatia still pushing for a goal that would set up a grandstand finish… Rakitic swings in but Varane rises to clear and blue shirts have a breather.

21:40
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

82: SUB! A change for Croatia too as Strinic is replaced by Pjaca.

21:39
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

81: SUB! Another change fro France as Fekir is brought on for Giroud.

21:38
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

80: Mbappe leads the charge for France. He bursts into the Croatia penalty area but he’s too quick for his own good, leaving the ball behind. It allows Croatia to clear their lines…

21:37
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

78: WIDE! Croatia haven’t give this up just yet. Rakitic drills the ball towards the far corner. It appears to have taken a deflection as it whistle past the far post but the referee awards France a goal kick.

21:35
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

75: WIDE! Vrsaljko tries an ambitious effort from 25 yards but he fails to trouble Lloris.

Goal kick to France…

21:33 France and Croatia OPTA STAT

21:32
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

73: SUB! And now a change for France as Matuidi is replaced by Tolisso.

21:31
FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA

71: SUB! A change for Croatia as Rebic is replaced by Kramaric.

21:27
GOAL! FRANCE 4-2 CROATIA (Mandzukic, 69)

Or are they? A Hugo Lloris howler has handed Croatia a lifeline…

21:27
FRANCE 4-1 CROATIA

68: France are now popping the ball around with a real confidence. They are now 22 minutes away from being crowned world champions.

GOAL! FRANCE 4-1 CROATIA (Mbappe, 65)

France are running away with this now as Mbappe comes to the party! He picks the ball up 25 yards from goal before drilling a low shot past Subasic and into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the tournament.

21:24
GOAL! FRANCE 4-1 CROATIA (Mbappe, 65)

21:24
FRANCE 3-1 CROATIA

64: France look a real threat on the counter-attack now. Griezmann picks the ball up in the middle of the pitch and he instinctively looks for Mbappe. This time the pass is cut out.
21:21
FRANCE 3-1 CROATIA

62: CHANCE! Another opportunity for France as Giroud’s overhead kick almost reaches Griezmann at the far post. However, there’s a crucial intervention from Strinic, who turns the ball away for a corner.

21:18
GOAL! FRANCE 3-1 CROATIA (Pogba, 59)

What a crucial goal that could prove to be! Pogba starts the move himself by releasing Mbappe. The French youngsters cutback reaches Griezmann, who lays the ball off to Pogba. The Manchester United’s initial shot is blocked but he gets another chance, steering the ball past Subasic and into the corner of the net.

21:18
GOAL! FRANCE 3-1 CROATIA (Pogba, 59)

21:17
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

58: Rebic plays a brilliant pass wide to Perisic. He takes on Pavard before clipping a cross towards the far post. It’s too high for Mandzukic as the ball bounces away to safety.

21:15
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

56: France look to break quickly through Griezmann but Vida is quickly across, sliding in to win an important tackle.

21:14
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

55: SUB! A change for France and it’s Kante coming off. The Chelsea midfielder, who is on a yellow card, has been well below his best today and is replaced by Steven N’Zonzi.

21:13
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

54: CHANCE! Madzukic gets above Lloris and heads the ball on. Unfortunately for Croatia it bounces agonisingly wide of the upright.

21:12
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

53: Play is now back underway after a few fans got on the pitch. They’ve now been dealt with and the action can continue…

21:11
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

52: It’s another fast start from Croatia but they are almost caught out by the Pace of Mbappe. He bursts past Vida before getting a shot away, but Subasic comes off his line to make a crucial block.

21:09
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

49: A nervy moment for France as a searching pass almost splits the defence in two. Perisic is the man chasing for Croatia but Varane does just enough to get a toe to the ball. Lloris dashes off his line and out of the area. He cannot use his hands but the Spurs goalkeeper keeps his cool, chesting the ball away from Perisic before clearing down field.

21:07
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

48: SAVE! Rakitic slides the ball through for Rebic, who takes on the shot first time. His left-footed effort stings the fingertips of Lloris, who tips the ball over the crossbar.

21:05
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

47: There are no changes from either side at the break. It’s as you were for the second-half…

France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Matuidi, Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe.

Croatia: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Brazovic, Rebic, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic.

21:03
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

46: France get us back underway in Moscow…

21:03
GETTIN’ JIGGY WIT IT

Will Smith is also in attendance after performing at the closing ceremony…

21:02
HALF-TIME ODDS

A VAR review to be used in the second half and the match to go to extra-time – was 7/1, NOW 14/1
France to win 3-1 in 90 mins is available at 5/1, Antoine Griezmann to bag a brace is 4/1 while BTTS in the second half is 10/3…

21:01
THE STARS ARE OUT IN FORCE…

There’s plenty of star power at the Luzhniki Stadium for the World Cup final.

One of the celebrities in attendance is fighter Conor McGregor.

20:58
WAS IT OR WASN’T IT?

VAR was used for the first time in a World Cup final to hand France a penalty towards the end of the first-half.

Referee Nestor Pitana consulted the screen twice after the ball hit Perisic in the penalty area following Griezmann’s corner. Rightly or wrongly, he eventually overturned his original decision to award the spot kick which gave France the lead.

20:48

FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

HALF TIME

20:48
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

45+2: Perisic has had a stormer of a first-half! He’s at it again as he drills a cross field pass towards Mandzukic. The striker chests the ball down in search of Rebic but the two are not on the same wavelength as France clear their lines.

20:46
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

45+1: CORNER! Another opportunity for Croatia but Vida cannot get enough on his header to trouble Lloris.

20:45
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

45: There will be THREE minutes of added time…

20:44
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

43: There’s a storm brewing in Moscow. There’s a rumble of thunder heard at the Luzhniki Stadium as Lovren’s shot is deflected behind by Pogba.

20:41
FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA

40: YELLOW! There’s a good race between Rebic and Hernandez for a loose ball. Rebic just gets there first though and he’s caught by a sliding tackle from the France full-back.

20:38
GOAL! FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA (Griezmann pen, 38)

France regain the lead. Griezmann was coolness personified, letting the goalkeeper dive one way before rolling the ball into the opposite corner.

20:38
GOAL! FRANCE 2-1 CROATIA (Griezmann PEN, 38)

20:38
FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA

38: Griezmann places the ball on the penalty spot for France…

20:37
FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA

37: VAR intervenes in a World Cup final! The replays certainly showed the ball hitting Peresic’s arm! Was it a clear and obvious error? the referee thought so.

20:36
FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA

36: The referee goes over to check the screen! He then shuffles away before going back for one last check of the screen.

He then blows his whistle and signals for a PENALTY TO FRANCE…

20:35
FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA

34: CORNER! Brozovic misses Griezmann’s corner at the near post. Matuidi also misses the ball and the ball is deflected behind for a corner!

DRAMA! Straight away the French players surround the referee claiming a handball by Peresic. After an age the referee eventually signals a VAR check…

20:34

20:33
FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA

32: Croatia are on the front foot again but Rebic’s cross is a weak one, allowing Lloris to gather the ball easily.

20:28
GOAL! FRANCE 1-1 CROATIA
20:28
FRANCE 1-0 CROATIA

26: YELLOW! The first yellow card of the World Cup final goes to Kante! Mandzukic flicks the ball on to Perisic, who strides into the France half. Kante tracks the run but clips his heels, handing Croatia a free-kick.

20:23
FRANCE 1-0 CROATIA

23: CHANCE! Pogba’s pass releases Mbappe, who is one on one with Vida. The ball just gets away from the Frenchman and Vida slides in to make a crucial tackle.

20:23
ADVANTAGE FRANCE

Here’s the moment the ball skims off Mario Mandzukic’s head as he attempts to clear the danger – but unwittingly helps it into his own net…

He’s the FIRST player to score an own goal in a World Cup final.
20:22
FRANCE 1-0 CROATIA

21: Chance of an immediate response for Croatia. Modric’s free-kick picks out Vida but the defender’s header sails over Lloris’ crossbar.

20:18
GOAL! FRANCE 1-0 CROATIA (Mandzukic OG, 18)

It’s a goal that’s come totally against the run of play! Griezmann whips a free-kick into the penalty area. The ball flicks off the head of Mandzukic and nestles into the far corner of the net. It’s a big blow for Croatia, who started the game so brightly.

20:18
GOAL! FRANCE 1-0 CROATIA

20:17
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

17: A first glimpse of Mbappe as an attacking threat. He breezes past Strinic and gets to the byline, but his cut back is cut out at the near post.

20:16
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

15: A big let off for France. Perisic has the ball on the left and he’s in acres of space. He has time and space to pick his spot with his cross, but unfortunately for Croatia he gets it all wrong. It’s a poor effort and it allows Umtiti to come across and clear at the near post.

20:14
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

13: Again, still very early stages but Griezmann has hardly had a kick so far! France are struggling to get a foothold in this game and that’s mainly down to how Croatia have started. Zlatko Dalic’s side are full of energy despite their exploits in previous rounds.

20:11
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

11: Croatia are looking very sharp at the moment. Modric swings the ball out to Strinic, who lays the ball off to Perisic. He plays a first time ball into the box which is dealt with by Umtiti.

20:09
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

9: More good signs for Croatia as Rakitic swings the ball into the France penalty area. He’s looking to pick out Perisic but Pavard gets up well to make a crucial defensive header.

20:08
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

8: Rakitic threads the ball through the legs of Pavard for Strinic, who drives into the penalty area and to the byline. Mbappe is forced into action and the forward does really well to get back and block the cross.

20:07
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

7: Kante clips the ball forward in search of the run of Hernandez but the full-back cannot keep it in. It’s still very early days but France haven’t got going yet.

20:05
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

5: Croatia look in the mood! They are pressing really high and again they win the ball back high up the pitch. Rebic swings a dangerous looking cross into the box but France deal with the danger.

20:04
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

3: Peresic wins the ball off Pavard and bursts forward on the counter-attack. He drives into the penalty area but Varane comes across to make a crucial tackle. Umtiti clears the danger, smashing the ball out for a Croatian throw-in.

20:02
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

2: It’s great to have the two teams in the colours that represent them so well. France are in blue while Croatia are in their familiar red and white checked shirts. Early battle between Pogba and Rakitic here in Moscow…

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20:00
FRANCE 0-0 CROATIA

1: KICK-OFF! Hold onto your hats, we are underway at the Luzhniki Stadium…

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@OptaJoe
0 – France have never lost a game with N’Golo Kante & Paul Pogba both in the starting XI (18 games: W14 D4 L0). Complementary. (via @OptaJean)#WorldCupFinal #WorldCup #FRA

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19:58
COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF!

The time for talking is nearly over!

The players go through their pre-match handshakes. The managers also embrace on the touchline. We’ve had the coin toss…

We are now just moments away from kick-off…

19:56
NATIONAL ANTHEMS

A stonking rendition of La Marseillaise finishes! There was no sign of any nerves on the face of Kylian Mbappe, who had a huge smile on his face during that!

Now, it’s time for the Croatia national anthem…

19:55
NATIONAL ANTHEMS

It’s time for the national anthems, first up France…

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19:54
HERE WE GO…

The players are on their way out for what will be the biggest games of their professional careers.

19:53
WORLD CUP FINAL LIVE!

The teams are in the tunnel at Luzhniki Stadium!

We’ve had 63 games at this World Cup and it all comes down to this!

PREVIEW:

France v Croatia will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia on Sunday July 15. France v Croatia match will be held at in Moscow (Luzhniki), Russia. Croatia to play France in first ever Final FIFA World Cup  . England face Belgium in third-place play-off.

Team and Squad News

France’s squad

France’s 23-man squad: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda; Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane; N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N’Zonzi, Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir; Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Croatia’s squad

Croatia’s 23-man squad:  Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic; Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Matej Mitrovic, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric; Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo)

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht)

Belgium 2-0 England 14/07/2018 – Third-place play-off – FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 July 14 – Results and Highlights

Belgium 2-0 England:Sat July 14: Belgium v England – St Petersburg, Full Time

England missed the chance to finish with a flourish as Belgium ran out convincing 2-0 winners in the World Cup third-place play-off in Saint Petersburg.Harry Kane still in pole position for Golden Boot.

Player ratings

Belgium: Courtois (7), Alderweireld (7), Kompany (6), Vertonghen (6), Meunier (7),Tielemans (7), Witsel (6), Chadli (6), De Bruyne (8), Lukaku (5), E Hazard (8).

Subs: Vermaelen (6), Mertens (6).

England: Pickford (7), Jones (6), Stones (6), Maguire (7), Trippier (7), Loftus-Cheek (6), Dier (6), Delph (6), Rose (6), Sterling (6), Kane (6)

Subs: Lingard (6), Rashford (7).

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

A joyful player who relished the freedom afforded by a fixture of this nature. Passed the ball with fluency, range and intent, dominating the centre of the park. Set up Hazard’s goal with a trademark weighted pass and left Dier red-faced with another threaded through his legs.

Team news

Gareth Southgate made five changes for the play-off, handing starts to Phil Jones, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Danny Rose. Harry Kane kept his place as he hunted the Golden Boot.

Roberto Martinez made just two changes, Thomas Meunier and Youri Tielemans starting in midfield in place of Marouane Fellaini and Moussa Dembele.

      • Full Time: Belgium 2-0 England
      • Hazard added second (82)
      • Meunier scored early (4)
      • Bronze medal match
      • Belgium secure best ever finish

21:00
PRESENTATION

The players are still out on the field as there will be a presentation to Belgium. They will collect their bronze medals.

20:59
GOLDEN BOOT RACE

Harry Kane still leads the field with one game left in the tournament.

Kane has six goals but Antoine Griezmann or Kylian Mbappe, who both have three, can catch him with something special in the final on Sunday.

20:52
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

It’s all over! Belgium finish third at the World Cup – there best ever finish at the tournament. For England, the tournament finishes on a low note but there’s still plenty to be proud of from this tournament for Gareth Southgate and his squad.

20:51
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

90+3: YELLOW! Witsel is booked for delaying a late England free-kick.

20:50
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

90+2: Mertens is screaming for the ball at the far post but Delph is alert to the danger, nipping in to head De Bruyne’s cross clear.

20:49
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

90: There will be THREE minutes of added time…

20:48
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

89: Belgium are keeping the ball extremely well and are seeing this game out with ease.

20:44
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

86: Belgium break again through Hazard. He has De Bruyne in acres of space on the left but delays the pass which allows Stones to slide in and make a crucial block.

20:42
BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND

84: SUB! Loftus-Cheek is replaced by Dele Alli.

20:40
GOAL! BELGIUM 2-0 ENGLAND (Hazard, 82)

That should be that! De Bruyne slides the ball through for Hazard, who gets in behind Jones. He shapes to shoot towards the far corner but drills it low past Pickford at the near post to score his third of the tournament.

20:39
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

80: SAVE! What a passage of play! Beautiful one touch football between De Bruyne and Mertens sees Belgium break into the England half. The pair exchange back heels before Mertens floats a cross into the path of Meunier. The full-back connects brilliantly with a volley, hitting the target and forcing Pickford into a brilliant save with his right hand.

20:37
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

79: SUB! Belgium make their final change as Dembele replaces Tielemans.

20:36
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

78: YELLOW! Maguire is shown a yellow card for his protests against a decision from the referee.

20:35
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

76: Another quick Belgium break as De Bruyne shifts the ball onto Mertens. The Napoli forward cuts inside off the left flank before getting his shot all wrong, firing the ball well wide of the far post.

20:33
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

74: WIDE! Another excellent set piece from England. Trippier’s delivery is brilliant once again and he picks out Maguire at the far post. England fail to hit the target again though as the Leicester centre-back heads wide.

20:32
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

73: CHANCE! Rashford’s corner is flicked away by Alderweireld. England take a quick throw and Lingard hooks the ball into the penalty area. Dier gets his head to it but he cannot trouble Courtois as the ball bounces wide of the far post.

20:30
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

72: England are starting to ask a lot more questions of Belgium at the moment…

Trippier’s free-kick is headed behind for another England corner by Kompany…

20:29
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

70: OFF THE LINE!! Rashford’s first-time pass releases Dier. He’s in on goal and dinks the ball over Courtois, but his Tottenham team-mate, Alderweireld, gets back to clear the ball off the goal line.

20:27
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

69: SAVE! Dier has a pop from 25 yards but Courtois gets down well to his right to make an easy save.

20:26
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

68: Loftus-Cheek’s cross takes a deflection which takes the ball away from Kane. Rashford recycles the ball but his cross is cleared by Vertonghen.

20:24
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

66: CORNER! Kane peels off to the edge of the area and he’s picked out. However, Kane miscues his attempted volley and Belgium get the ball clear.

20:23
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

65: Meunier takes no chances with Trippier’s deep cross, turning it behind for a corner…

20:22
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

64: Hazard skips past a few challenges on the edge of the England penalty area but he cannot get past Dier, who gets a crucial boot to the ball.

20:21
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

63: TACKLE! Hazard brings down Alderweireld’s long pass before laying it off for Meunier on the overlap. Delph makes good ground though to get back and make a crucial tackle to stop Meunier’s cross.

20:20
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

61: I wonder if Lukaku’s picked up a knock. He’s gone straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Mertens.

20:19
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

60: SUB! Lukaku’s bid to win the Golden Boot is over. He’s replaced by Mertens.

20:17
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

59: Excellent defending from Stones, who nips in ahead of Lukaku to win the ball back for England.

20:15
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

56: CHANCE! What a pass from De Bruyne to release Lukaku. However, Lukaku’s touch is so poor which allows Pickford to come off his line and gather the ball cleanly.

20:13
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

55: CLOSE! Poor Belgium defending allows Lingard to drill the ball towards the far post. Kane is inches away from getting a touch on the ball as it flashes wide of the far post.

20:12
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

54: Another Trippier cross reaches the penalty spot but again, Kompany is well positined to clear.

20:10
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

52: YELLOW! Stones has two bites at the cherry as he hauls Hazard to ground. He stops Belgium’s counter-attack in its tracks but picks up a caution in the process.

20:09
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

51: CLOSE! Trippier’s free-kick almost reaches Stones but Vertonghen is there to get a crucial foot to the ball ahead of the Man City defender.

20:08
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

49: Belgium break through Hazard. He has Lukaku in support but ignores the Manchester United striker’s run and the move fizzles out as Maguire gets a foot to the ball.

20:06
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

47: Positive play from Loftus-Cheek as he drives into the Belgium penalty area. Kompany goes to ground and gets a crucial foot to the ball, winning a goal kick in the process.

20:03
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

46: England get us back underway…

20:03
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

Changes at the break for England as Lingard and Rashford replace Rose and Sterling.

19:58
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

Meanwhile, Kane had one major chance, shooting side wide under pressure from Kompany.

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19:56
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

It’s been a frustrating afternoon for Romelu Lukaku so far. He’s still two behind Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

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19:56
HT BOOSTS

Our half time Double Up Boost is Kane & Maguire to have a shot on target in the second half, from 3/1 to 6/1.

We’ve also got – Kane to score the next goal is 9/2 & Lukaku to score the next goal is 5/1.

19:48
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

There’s no time for the corner as the whistle goes for half-time! Belgium lead thanks to Thomas Meunier’s early goal.

19:48
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

45+2: Lukaku has Stones isolated. He’s one on one with the Man City defender but Stones stands his ground, blocking Lukaku’s shot.

19:45
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

45: There will be TWO minutes of added time…

19:45
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

44: Belgium work the ball well again to Meunier, who attempts to cut the ball back for De Bruyne. England deal with the danger well though as Maguire clears.

19:43
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

43: Loftus-Cheek attempts to carry the ball forward for England but the move breaks down just inside the Belgium half.

19:40
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

40: SUB! Here’s confirmation of the Belgium change. Vermaelen replaces the injured Chadli.

19:39
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

39: Belgium break quickly through Meunier, who plays the ball forward for De Bruyne. The Man City star bends the ball towards the far post where Trippier heads behind for a corner, which comes to nothing for Martinez’s side.

19:37
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

38: The games is back underway but Belgium are down to 10 for the moment. Martinez is preparing a change…

19:36
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

37: There’s an injury concern for Belgium. Chadli is down and it looks as though he’s pulled a hamstring.

19:35
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

35: CORNER! Tielemans miscues a shot on the edge of the penalty but it falls for Alderweireld, who hooks the ball over Pickford’s crossbar.

19:34
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

34: BLOCK! Hazard dribbles his way into the penalty area but his shot is well blocked by Stones.

19:32
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

33: Meunier fires another cross in from the right but this time Stones heads clear for England.

19:30
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

30: Hazard lays the ball off to Tielemans, who strikes the ball goalwards from 20 yards. Stones flings his body in the way to make an excellent block.

19:28
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

28: Meunier nips in ahead of Rose to win the ball but he cannot pick out Lukaku in the middle with his cross as the ball bounces away to safety on the far side.

19:24
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

25: Now Sterling goes for goal from distance but his effort is well wide of the target.

19:24
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

23: CHANCE! And it falls to Kane! Dier’s excellent pass picks out Sterling, who lays the ball off for Kane. England’s captain slips just as he’s striking the ball and it drifts wide of the target. That was an excellent chance for him to stretch his lead at the top of the goal scoring charts!!

19:20
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

20: It’s time for the Love Train…

The red shirts scatter in the penalty area and Harry Maguire gets his head to the ball. However, it’s an easy save for Courtois on his goal line.

19:19
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

19: Good footwork from Loftus-Cheek sees him get to the byline. He pulls the ball back in search of Harry Kane but Kompany is there to turn the ball behind for a corner…

19:18
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

18: Sterling receives the ball in the penalty area but he’s quickly surrounded by three yellow shirts as Belgium win the ball back.

19:17
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

16: CHANCE! The first opening of the game for one of the Golden Boot contenders as De Bruyne’s pass releases Lukaku. However, the Manchester United’s striker’s touch lets him down as the ball rolls through to Pickford.

19:15
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

14: CHANCES! Two saves by Courtois, who denies Delph from long range before keeping out Loftus-Cheek’s header.

19:12
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

12: SAVE! Somehow Lukaku’s pass bobbles its way through to De Bruyne, who gets a shot away. The ball deflects off Trippier but Pickford manages to keep it out with a strong hand.

19:10
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

11: Another Trippier cross is cleared, this time by the head of Alderweireld.

19:10
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

9: CHANCE! Lukaku drives at the heart of the England defence. He has De Bruyne and Hazard up in support and he plays the ball to the Manchester City forward. In the end it’s the wrong option as England win the ball back in the penalty area. A frustrated Hazard was in acres of space on the left.

19:08
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

8: England try to respond straight away through Trippier, who fires a low cross towards the near post. Vertonghen is there to clear for Belgium.

19:07
BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND

7: That’s not the start Gareth Southgate would have wanted. There was acres of space for Belgium to exploit and that’s exactly what they did.

19:04
GOAL! BELGIUM 1-0 ENGLAND (Meunier, 4)

The perfect start for Belgium. Lukaku has acres of space in the middle of the pick and he slides a beautiful pass through for Hazard. the Chelsea forward whips the ball into the box and Meunier gets ahead of Rose to tap in at the far post!

19:03
BELGIUM 0-0 ENGLAND

3: It’s been a relatively quiet start to the game. Dier icks the ball up in midfield before trying to pick out the run of Trippier on the right flank. Chadli’s back to win a header as Belgium clear through Vertonghen.

19:00
BELGIUM 0-0 ENGLAND

1: KICK-OFF! Belgium get us underway in St Petersburg…

18:58
BELGIUM v ENGLAND LIVE!

Kick-off in the third-place play-off is now just moments away…

18:55
NATIONAL ANTHEMS

Belgium’s national anthem is up first and then for the final time in this tournament, it’s God Save the Queen…

18:54
BELGIUM v ENGLAND LIVE!

The teams are in the tunnel at the Krestovsky Stadium. Kick-off to the penultimate game of the World Cup is now just over five minutes away!

18:51
ENGLAND XI

And here’s Gareth Southgate’s side…

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18:51
BELGIUM XI

Here’s how Roberto Martinez’s side line up…

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18:50
TEAM NEWS – REMINDER

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Tielemans, Chadli, Lukaku, Hazard.

Subs: Vermaelen, Fellaini, Carrasco, Mignolet, Casteels, Mertens, Hazard, Januzaj, Dembele, Boyata, Batshuayi, Dendoncker.

England: Pickford, Jones, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Dier, Delph, Rose, Loftus-Cheek, Sterling, Kane.

Subs: Walker, Lingard, Henderson, Vardy, Butland, Welbeck, Cahill, Young, Rashford, Alli, Alexander-Arnold, Pope.

18:45
WATCH: ‘SOUTHGATE REASON FOR ENGLAND’S SUCCESS’

Former England striker Dean Ashton says Gareth Southgate’s influence on the players was the biggest reason for their World Cup success in Russia

18:44
OPTA STAT

England’s defeat to Croatia in their last match was their 100th competitive defeat – each of their last six competitive losses have been at major tournaments (five at the World Cup, one at the European Championships).

18:42
PRICE BOOSTS

Strong teams & we usually get goals in the third place game. As such we’ve doubled Lukaku’s price for scring a brace from 5/1 to 10/1 with our Double Up Boost.

Elsewhere, we’ve got Harry Kane to score anytime at 5/4 and Kane & Lukaku both to score at 9/2.

18:37
BELGIUM v ENGLAND LIVE!

The warm-ups are well underway in St Petersburg.

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18:35
MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Today’s referee is Alireza Faghani from Iran.

18:30
WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND?

In a few hours time England’s World Cup will be over!

The dream of lifting the trophy ended in defeat to Croatia last Wednesday and an opportunity has slipped by, but where do they go from here? There is plenty of cause for optimism despite the immediate disappointment, writes Adam Bate.

Read the feature in full HERE!

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18:20
OPTA STAT

Harry Kane has had just one shot on target in his last three World Cup matches – his penalty goal against Colombia in the last 16. Kane has not had a shot on target in his last four hours and 33 minutes of action at the World Cup.

18:17
SPURS v SPURS

And now some of the Tottenham players from both sides greet each other before the match…

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18:15
BELGIUM v ENGLAND – TEAM NEWS

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18:10
MAN CITY v MAN CITY

The Manchester City players from both England and Belgium greet each other ahead of kick-off…

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18:08
OPTA STAT

Belgium and England are the first teams to face each other twice at a World Cup tournament since Turkey played Brazil twice at the 2002 World Cup.

18:07
VOTE: GOAL OF THE WORLD CUP

The 2018 World Cup in Russia has witnessed some great goals – now it’s over to you to pick your favourite.

With just two games remaining at this summer’s tournament, we have picked out 20 of the best strikes to have graced a competition which has not failed to deliver.

From two in the early tournament classic between Spain and Portugal to more recent efforts from Argentina’s Angel Di Maria and England’s Kieran Trippier, there are some superb strikes to choose from.

Get voting HERE!

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18:05
WORLD CUP: RUSSIA REPORT

All the latest ahead of England v Belgium this afternoon plus Ivan Rakitic on Croatia’s respect for World Cup final opponents France…

18:03
CHARLIE’S PREDICTION

“I think there’s more in it for Belgium than England, who have made their statement and, even though a lot of people have got carried away, do deserve applause.

“England have come on a hell of a way over the last two years, whereas Roberto Martinez has simply taken advantage of a team of talented players which suited the way he likes to play, so there’s more pressure on him to get the win here.

“Gareth Southgate is the winner overall and I think, with his humility, he will give everybody a chance. Roberto Martinez will only make a couple of changes, especially with Romelu Lukaku still hungry for the Golden Boot.”

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 ()

17:57
‘VERY IMPORTANT MATCH FOR BELGIUM’

For Belgium there is the chance to secure their best World Cup finish – bettering their fourth place in 1986.

Roberto Martinez has said “once the dust settles, it’s very much an important fixture”.

“You always want to push the achievements of a football nation,” he added. “And they want to be the best Belgian team ever and are ready to perform.”

17:54
GOLDEN BOOT RACE

So, the battle for the Golden Boot is on as Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku both start for their respective teams.

Kane currently tops the charts with six goals, two ahead of Lukaku. The closest challengers in Sunday’s final are France duo Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who have both scored three.

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17:51
OPTA STAT

Before losing 1-0 to Belgium at this year’s World Cup, England had lost just one of their previous 21 meetings with them (W15 D5).

17:50
BELGIUM CHANGES

It’s two changes for Belgium as Roberto Martinez brings Thomas Meunier back from suspension and Youri Tielemans comes into the starting line-up.

Moussa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini drop out.

17:48
ENGLAND CHANGES

England have made five changes to the side that lost to Croatia last Wednesday.

Kyle Walker, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Ashley Young and Dele Alli all drop out with Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all coming into the starting line-up.

17:44
ENGLAND TEAM NEWS

Team to face Belgium: Pickford, Jones, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Dier, Delph, Rose, Loftus-Cheek, Sterling, Kane.

Subs: Walker, Lingard, Henderson, Vardy, Butland, Welbeck, Cahill, Young, Rashford, Alli, Alexander-Arnold, Pope.

17:44
BELGIUM TEAM NEWS

Team to face England: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Tielemans, Chadli, Lukaku, Hazard.

Subs: Vermaelen, Fellaini, Carrasco, Mignolet, Casteels, Mertens, Hazard, Januzaj, Dembele, Boyata, Batshuayi, Dendoncker.

17:41
PREVIOUS MEETING…

Have two sides ever met twice at the same World Cup with so little at stake in either game?

When they clashed in the group stages, England made eight changes and Belgium made nine, for a game that neither seemed too keen to win for fear of ending up on the “harder” half of the draw.

It was Belgium who ended up edging the contest and finishing top of Group G after Adnan Januzaj’s brilliant strike in the 51st minute.

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17:38
ENGLAND TEAM NEWS

Sky sources understand England will make four changes from the semi-final defeat to Croatia.

Harry Kane is expected to start as he chases Golden Boot.

Kieran Trippier is also set to start, despite picking up a groin injury three days ago.

Jordan Pickford will keep his place in goal, while the four players that are set to be rested are Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli and Ashley Young.

The four probable replacements are Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Danny Rose.

17:35
THE RACE FOR THE GOLDEN BOOT…

Thomas Muller clinched the Golden Boot with a goal in the third-place play-off in 2010.

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17:34
ANYTHING ELSE TO LOOK OUT FOR?

Finishing third or fourth may not make much difference in the grand scheme of things, it is important to remember goals scored in the third-place play-off count towards the Golden Boot prize.

Harry Kane has six goals to Romelu Lukaku’s four, while Antoine Griezmann has three for France.

With at least three goals scored in every third-place play-off since 1974, there are sure to be opportunities to move up the standings.

In 1990 Salvatore Schillaci scored a penalty four minutes from time against England to seal the Golden Boot prize, while Davor Suker repeated the trick in 1998 and Thomas Muller did the same in 2010.

17:32
RECENT THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFFS

2014: Holland 3-0 Brazil
2010: Germany 3-2 Uruguay
2006: Germany 3-1 Portugal
2002: Turkey 3-2 South Korea
1998: Croatia 2-1 Holland
1994: Sweden 4-0 Bulgaria
1990: Italy 2-1 England

17:31
WHAT’S THE HISTORY BEHIND IT?

There has been a third-place play-off at World Cups since the second edition in 1934 in Italy, when Germany beat Austria 3-2.

While the European Championships dispensed with the extra game in 1980, the often relaxed, high-scoring contests remain in the World Cup.

Some countries place higher importance on finishing third than others – Croatia (1998) and Sweden (1994) celebrated their ‘bronze’ medal match wins after memorable campaigns but other countries use it as a chance to field fringe players who have been short on game time (France captain, Michel Platini, for instance, didn’t play in 1982 or 1986).

And on occasion, the match can sum up the tone for teams, such as Brazil’s painful 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands, which rubbed salt into the wounds from their 7-1 thrashing by Germany on home soil in 2014.

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17:29
WHEN AND WHERE IS THIRD-PLACE -PLAY-OFF?

The third-place play-off kicks off at 3pm.
The 65,000-capacity Saint Petersburg Stadium is the venue.

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17:28
THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF EXPLAINED

So after England and Belgium lost their World Cup semi-finals, they still have one more game to play… the third-place play-off.

It may be tough to recover from the disappointment of missing out on a place in the final, but the extra fixture does at least give nations the opportunity to finish on a high.

In the next few posts we’ll be telling you all you need to know about the match…

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17:24
EARLY BELGIUM TEAM NEWS

Roberto Martinez may choose to rest striker Romelu Lukaku despite being within two goals of Harry Kane in the chase for the Golden Boot.

Adnan Janujaz is likely to be handed another start, while Dries Mertens and Yannick Carrasco are also in the running for a spot.

Thomas Meunier, who was suspended for the semi-final, is available again.

17:23
EARLY ENGLAND TEAM NEWS

Gareth Southgate is not intending to make wholesale changes for the game but will assess the players’ fitness levels before choosing his side.

He said: “Everyone wants to play but sometimes it is not a good decision to play someone if their energy is not there. It won’t be the same XI but we want to make as few changes as possible.”

Kieran Trippier was seemingly a major doubt after tweaking a nerve in his groin against Croatia but did take part in training ahead of today’s match. Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson, Kyle Walker and Ashley Young may be given a rest.

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17:19
SOUTHGATE WANTS TO END ON A HIGH

Despite the potential non-competitive edge to the match, England boss Gareth Southgate really wants to end what has been a positive tournament for his team on a high…

“Emotionally it has been a difficult few days but the players are incredible,” he said. “They are a pleasure to work with. They have an energy and desire.

“We want to finish the tournament well. We have set a standard of how we work and how we play. We have high motivation to perform. We have a chance to win a medal at a World Cup, which only one other English team has ever done.

“There is a lot of motivation for us and Belgium have already beaten us, so we would like to address that as well.”

17:15
BELGIUM v ENGLAND LIVE!

It’s almost time for the game no side wants to be in!

Welcome to Sky Sports’ coverage of the World Cup’s Bronze medal match! England’s Russian adventure finishes with a chance to secure their second-best finish in a World Cup with a win over Belgium in the third-place play-off.

The teams meet for the second time at these finals, having also met at the group stage – Belgium won 1-0 with a stunning strike from Adnan Januzaj. They both progressed to the semi-finals before their tournaments came crashing down. They now must regain composure and focus while not ruing that missed shot at playing in the biggest game in world football.

PREVIEW:

Belgium v England will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup Third-place play-off in Russia on Saturday July 14. Belgium v England match will be held at in St Petersburg,, Russia. England face Belgium in third-place play-off;Croatia to play France in first ever World Cup final.

Team and Squad News

England’s squad

England’s 23-man final squad:  Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Belgium’s  squad

Belgium’s 28-man preliminary squad:  Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele, Leander Dendoncker, Marouane Fellaini, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel; Michy Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Thomas Meunier (PSG)

Midfielders: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Nacer Chadli (West Brom)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang)

Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard

Croatia 2-1 England 07/11/2018 – Semi-final FIFA World Cup 11th July 2018 Tuesday – Results

Croatia 2-1 England:Wed July 11: Croatia v England – Moscow (Luzhniki), Full Time

 

Croatia will face France in their first World Cup final after coming from behind to dash England’s dreams with a 2-1 extra-time victory at the Luzhniki Stadium.Mario Mandzukic is the hero for Croatia as his country qualify for their first ever FIFA World Cup final, after they come from behind to defeat England.Croatia to play France in first ever World Cup final; England face Belgium in third-place play-off.

Player ratings

Croatia: Subasic (7), Vrsaljko (6), Strinic (6), Lovren (7), Vida (6), Rakitic (5), Modric (7), Brozovic (6), Perisic (8), Rebic (6), Mandzukic (7).

Subs: Kramaric (5), Pivaric (5), Corluka (NA), Badelj (NA).

England: Pickford (7), Walker (8), Stones (6), Maguire (7), Trippier (8), Henderson (7), Lingard (6), Alli (6), Young (6), Sterling (7), Kane (6).

Subs: Rashford (6), Rose (5), Dier (5), Vardy (NA).

Man of the Match: Kieran Trippier.

Few would have had Trippier down as first goalscorer. The Tottenham full-back had not scored since February 2016 and never in an England shirt. But Trippier needed only five minutes to become the third Englishman to score in a World Cup semi-final, following in the illustrious footsteps of Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker. Trippier does not take free-kicks at Spurs with Christian Eriksen around, and is known as the ‘Bury Beckham’ because of his delivery from the right rather than his set-piece ability. But after his Moscow masterpiece, it might be a case of Beckham now being known as the ‘Walthamstow Trippier’.

Team news

With no injuries to worry about, Gareth Southgate named an identical team to that which began the last-16 game against Colombia and the quarter-final against Sweden. Injury concerns over Croatia full-back Sime Vrsaljko came to nothing as the Atletico Madrid defender started. Former Leicester forward Andrej Kramaric did not make the cut, though, dropped to the bench in favour of holding midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

What’s next?

Croatia will remain in Moscow for Sunday’s World Cup final against France while England travel to Saint Petersburg for Saturday’s third-place play-off against Belgium.

PREVIEW:

Croatia v England will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup Semi-final in Russia on Tuesday July 11. Croatia v England match will be held at in Moscow (Luzhniki), Russia.Croatia ended Russia’s unlikely World Cup dream when they won 4-3 on penalties to eliminate the gallant hosts after a dramatic quarter-final ended 2-2 after extra time on Saturday.

Team and Squad News

Croatia’s squad

Croatia’s 23-man squad:  Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic; Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Matej Mitrovic, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric; Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo)

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht)

England’s squad

England’s 23-man final squad:  Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

France 1-0 Belgium 10/07/2018 – Semi-final FIFA World Cup 10th July 2018 Tuesday – Results

France 1-0 Belgium
World Cup 2018, semi-final
Saint Petersburg Stadium

France 1-0 Belgium:Tuesday July 10: France v Belgium – St Petersburg, Full Time– Semi-final FIFA World Cup 10th July 2018

France booked their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final thanks to a goal from Samuel Umtiti. Samuel Umtiti was the hero for France as his second-half header sealed a 1-0 victory over Belgium and a place in the World Cup final.

Player ratings

France: Lloris (8), Pavard (6), Varane (8), Umtiti (8), Hernandez (6), Pogba (8), Kante (7), Matuidi (7), Mbappe (7), Griezmann (7), Giroud (6).

Subs: N’Zonzi (5), Tolisso (5).

Belgium: Courtois (7), Alderweireld (6), Kompany (6), Vertonghen (6), Chadli (5), Fellaini (5), Witsel (5), Dembele (5), De Bruyne (6), Hazard (7), Lukaku (5).

Subs: Mertens (6), Carrasco (5), Batshuayi (NA).

Man of the match: Raphael Varane.

Team news

Blaise Matuidi returned from suspension for France, replacing Corentin Tolisso in midfield. With Thomas Meunier suspended for Belgium, Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele was drafted into the starting line-up.

What’s next?

France head to Moscow for Sunday’s World Cup final while Belgium remain in Saint Petersburg for Saturday’s third-place play-off.

PREVIEW:

France v Belgium will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup Semi-final in Russia on Tuesday July 10. France v Belgium match will be held at in St Petersburg, Russia.

Team and Squad News

France’s squad

France’s 23-man squad: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda; Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane; N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N’Zonzi, Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir; Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Belgium’s  squad

Belgium’s 28-man preliminary squad:  Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele, Leander Dendoncker, Marouane Fellaini, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel; Michy Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Thomas Meunier (PSG)

Midfielders: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Nacer Chadli (West Brom)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang)

Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard

Sweden 0-2 England – 07/07/2018 – England beat Sweden 2-0 to reach semi-finals

Sweden 0-2 England:Sat July 7: Sweden v England – Samara, Full Time (Match 60)

Headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli gave England a 2-0 win over Sweden as they reached their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

Player ratings

Sweden: Olsen (6), Krafth (5), Lindelof (5), Granqvist (6), Augustinsson (6), Larsson (5), Ekdal (5), Forsberg (5), Claesson (6), Berg (6), Toivonen (5)

Subs: Guidetti (5), Martin Olsson (5), Jansson (NA)

England: Pickford (9), Walker (7), Stones (7), Maguire (9), Trippier (7), Lingard (7), Henderson (7), Alli (7), Young (7), Sterling (7), Kane (7)

Subs: Delph (NA), Dier (NA), Rashford (NA)

Man of the match: Jordan Pickford

Fresh from his heroics on Tuesday night in Moscow, the Everton stopper was at his best again on Saturday to extinguish any potential second-half anxiety.

His three saves – from Berg, Claesson and Berg again late on – were brilliant reaction stops, and though his distribution was scratchy at times, he finally got the clean sheet he had been craving at this tournament.

Team news

England were unchanged following the victory over Colombia in the last 16, while Sweden made two changes. Emil Krafth replaced the suspended Mikael Lustig in defence, while Sebastian Larsson returned from suspension in place of Gustav Svensson.

What’s next?

England will now play either Russia or Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening in Moscow

PREVIEW:

Sweden v England will go head-to-head in the Quarter-final 2018 World Cup in Russia on Saturday, July 7. Sweden v England match will be held at in Samara, Russia.

England have made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup – but just how tough will Sweden be in the next round? Sweden defeated Switzerland 1-0 on Tuesday, ahead of England’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Colombia, and the teams will now face off in Samara on Saturday afternoon for a place in the semi-finals.

Sweden

Formation: 4-4-2

Danger man: Emil Forsberg. Sweden’s match-winner against Switzerland was the best player on the pitch in Saint Petersburg – and the number 10, his country’s top creator, will be one England must keep a close eye on in Samara.

His goal against Switzerland – his first at Russia 2018 – came courtesy of a big deflection but his ability to make a yard of space for himself on the edge of the box created the opportunity.

Coming in from the left flank, the RB Leipzig midfielder has excellent close control, and is renowned for dribbling away from his markers. He can pick a pass too, and made more assists than any other player in the Bundesliga in 2016/17.

Forsberg is also Sweden’s set-piece specialist and will relish the chance to go for goal should his team be awarded a free-kick around the England penalty area.

Strength: Unity. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from international football there were questions – not least those posed by the striker himself – about how Sweden would cope without their talisman. But without their star man, Sweden have become closer as a unit and it is now their team ethic at the heart of their success.

The players are committed to the structure put in place by manager Janne Andersson and the boss himself summed up the environment in the camp when he praised everyone from players to technical staff after their 3-0 group stage win over Mexico. Three clean sheets in four matches underlines their organisation and discipline – although they will be without suspended defender Mikael Lustig against England.

Weakness: Goal scoring. Sweden’s winner against Switzerland came with the help of a huge deflection and they rarely looked like finding the net any other way. At times the finishing was awful, with Marcus Berg and Albin Ekdal, twice, wasting great chances to break the deadlock in the first half.

They did put three past an already qualified Mexico in their final group game – albeit with one penalty and one own goal – but also required a spot-kick to see off South Korea in their World Cup opener.

It’s a contrast to Sweden’s qualifying campaign, when they significantly outscored group rivals France, but, although Sebastian Larsson will return for their quarter-final after being banned against Switzerland and will add some creativity, set-pieces are likely to be their best chance of hurting England.

 

Team and Squad News

Sweden’s squad

Sweden’s 23-man squad: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth, Pontus Jansson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Gustav Svensson, Oscar Hiljemark, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Rohden, Jimmy Durmaz, Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, Isaac Kiese Thelin

Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (FC Copenhagen), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea City).

Defenders: Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Victor Nilsson-Lindelof (Manchester United), Andreas Granqvist (Krasnodar), Martin Olsson (Swansea City), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Filip Helander (Bologna), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United), Emil Krafth (Bologna).

Midfielders: Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders), Sebastian Larsson (Hull City), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa), Marcus Rohden (Crotone).

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse), John Guidetti (Celta Vigo), Isaac Kiese-Thelin (Waasland-Beveren).

England’s squad

England’s 23-man final squad:  Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Brazil 1-2 Belgium – 06/07/2018 – Quarter-final 2018 FIFA World Cup July 6th – Results and Preview

Brazil 1-2 Belgium:Fri July 6: Brazil v Belgium – Kazan, Full Time (Match 58)

Kevin De Bruyne’s stunning strike booked Belgium’s place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Brazil.Belgium were outstanding in attack in the first half, and by the end of the second half pretty resolute in defence as well. Brazil will point to the penalty non-decision, and it may well be that Vincent Kompany got away with clipping Neymar there. On another day, with another referee, and other folks in the VAR booth … but this was Belgium’s moment, and on balance they were deserved winners. They reach the World Cup semi-finals for only the second time: France await in St Petersburg on Tuesday. As for Brazil, the wait for World Cup number six will now stretch to 20 years at least. Thanks for reading. Nighty night, and sweet dreams, wherever you are.

Player Ratings

Brazil: Alisson (6), Fagner (5), Silva (6), Miranda (6), Marcelo (7), Paulinho (5), Fernandinho (4), Willian (6), Coutinho (7), Neymar (5), Jesus (5).

Subs: Costa (8), Augusto (7), Firmino (7)

Belgium : Courtois (8), Meunier (7), Alderweireld (7), Kompany (7), Vertonghen (7), Chadli (6), Witsel (6), Fellaini (7), De Bruyne (8), Hazard (9), Lukaku (8)

Subs: Vermaelen (N/A), Tielemans (N/A)

Man of the match: Eden Hazard

This stage was made for Hazard, who was at the heart of all of Belgium’s forays into Brazilian territory. His close control dazzled and the way he glided past players on the counter attack was a joy to behold. Martinez’s decision to play him off the left-wing was a tactical masterstroke.

Team news

Two changes were made by both teams. Marcelo came in for Filipe Luis for Brazil, while Fernandinho replaced Casemiro. For Belgium, Yannick Carrasco came out for Nacer Chadli, while Marouane Fellaini replaces Dries Mertens.

PREVIEW:

Brazil v Belgium will go head-to-head in the Quarter-final 2018 World Cup in Russia on Friday, July 6. Brazil v Belgium match will be held at in Kazan, Russia.Brazil and Belgium have played each other four times, with Selacao winning three. They met most recently in the 2002 World Cup last-16 stage, which saw Rivaldo and Ronaldo earn a 2-0 win.The Selecao overcame a stubborn Mexico to make their seventh last-eight spot on the trot, while the Red Devils came from two goals down to beat Japan with virtually the last kick of their last-16 clash.This will be by a distance the biggest test either nation has faced in Russia thus far and a semi-final place in the prize.

Team and Squad News

Brazil will be without Casemiro, who is suspended after picking up a second yellow of the tournament. Fernandinho is likely to come in.

Gabriel Jesus’s starting spot could be in doubt after another positive impact from substitute Roberto Firmino.

Belgium have no fresh injury concerns.

Brazil’s squad

Brazil’s 23-man squad : Alisson, Ederson, Cassio; Danilo, Fagner, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Pedro Geromel; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Fred, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Douglas Costa; Neymar, Taison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)

Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Geromel (Gremio), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Brazil XI: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Willian, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Coutinho; Neymar, Firmino

Belgium’s  squad

Belgium’s 28-man preliminary squad:  Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele, Leander Dendoncker, Marouane Fellaini, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel; Michy Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Thomas Meunier (PSG)

Midfielders: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Nacer Chadli (West Brom)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang)

Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard

Russia 2-2 Croatia – 07/07/2018 – Croatia win 4-3 on penalties to reach World Cup semi-final

Russia 2-2 Croatia:Sat July 7: Russia v Croatia – Sochi, Full Time (Match 59)

Croatia secured their place in the Semi-Finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a penalty shootout victory over hosts Russia. Croatia overcame World Cup hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time to set up a semi-final showdown with England.Croatia will play England in Moscow on Wednesday evening

Player ratings

Russia: Akinfeev (6), Fernandes (7), Kutepov (6), Ignashevich (6), Kudryashov (6), Cheryshev (7), Kuzyaev (6), Zobnin (6), Golovin (7), Samedov (7), Dzyuba (7)

Subs: Yerokhin (7), Smolov (5), Gazinsky (6), Dzagoev (7)

Croatia: Subasic (7), Vrsaljko (7), Strinic (6), Lovren (7), Vida (7), Perisic (6), Rakitic (7), Kramaric (7), Modric (6), Rebic (6), Mandzukic (6)

Subs: Brozovic (6), Pivaric (6), Kovacic (6), Corluka (6)

Man of the match: Ivan Rakitic

This was a game full of drama, but lacking in quality. With Russia content to sit deep for long periods and Croatia’s main outlet the overlapping runs of their right-back Sime Vrsaljko, they turned – as they so often do – to the creativity of their midfield duo. Luka Modric created the second Croatia goal, but was outshone by his partner Rakitic who produced an endless supply of raking passes and stepped up to nervelessly score the final kick of the shootout. Don’t be surprised to hear plenty about him in the run-up to Wednesday night’s semi-final.

Team news

Russia made one change to the team that started the last-16 win over Spain, as Denis Cheryshev came in for Yuri Zhirkov. Croatia also made one change from the side that overcame Denmark in the previous round; Andrej Kramaric replaced Marcelo Brozovic.

What’s next?

Croatia will now face England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at 7pm on Wednesday evening for the chance to play either Belgium or France in the World Cup final the following Sunday.

PREVIEW:

Russia v Croatia will go head-to-head in the Quarter-final 2018 World Cup in Russia on Saturday, July 7. Russia v Croatia match will be held at in Sochi, Russia.

Team and Squad News

Russia’s squad

Russia’s 23-man squad: Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrey Lunev; Sergei Ignashevich, Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Fyodor Kudryashov, Andrei Semyonov, Igor Smolnikov, Ilya Kutepov, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev, Aleksandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Samedov, Yuri Gazinsky, Anton Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev, Artyom Dzyuba, Aleksei Miranchuk, Fyodor Smolov

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrei Lunev (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow)

Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar)  

Croatia’s squad

Croatia’s 23-man squad:  Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic; Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Matej Mitrovic, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric; Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo)

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht)

Uruguay 0-2 France – 06/07/2018 – Quarter-final 2018 FIFA World Cup July 6th – Results and Preview

Uruguay 0-2 France:Fri July 6: Uruguay v France – Nizhny Novgorod, Full Time (Match 57)

Results:

France booked their place in the Semi-Finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 2-0 win over Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod.France earned a 2-0 win over Uruguay for their first semi-final appearance in 12 years, and Belgium knocked out five-time champions Brazil.France reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2006 and ended Uruguay’s dream with a 2-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod.

Raphael Varane converted a clever Antoine Griezmann free-kick five minutes before half-time and the provider then profited from Fernando Muslera’s goalkeeping howler (61) as Didier Deschamps’ men booked a last-four showdown with Brazil or Belgium.

France, out to emulate the triumphant 1998 team captained by Deschamps, were thankful for a several fine Hugo Lloris saves but his counterpart’s blunder took the edge off the contest as Luis Suarez – without injured partner Edinson Cavani – toiled in vain.

Player ratings

Uruguay: Muslera (5), Caceres (6), Gimenez (6), Godin (6), Laxalt (6), Nandez (6),Torreira (7), Vecino (6), Bentancur (6), Suarez (6), Stuani (5).

Subs: Gomez (6), Rodriguez (6), Urretaviscaya (6).

France: Lloris (8), Pavard (7), Varane (7), Umtiti (6), Lucas (6), Pogba (7), Kante (8), Mbappe (7), Griezmann (8), Tolisso (7), Giroud (7).

Subs: N’Zonzi (6), Dembele (n/a), Fekir (n/a)

Man of the match: Antoine Griezmann

Hugo Lloris made big stops at key moments before Uruguay’s threat diminished but Antoine Griezmann gets the nod after another influential, if not top-gear display. He has now scored seven goals in his last six appearances in the knockout stages of major tournaments, though he turned away sheepishly after this one. There was no fortune in the opener – a goal finely crafted and finished – and several other key passes came from the Atletico Madrid man.

Team news

Uruguay could only name Edinson Cavani on the bench following the calf injury he sustained against Portugal. Cristhian Stuani replaced him in attack.

Corentin Tolisso came in for the suspended Blaise Matuidi in France’s midfield.

PREVIEW:

Uruguay v France will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup in Russia on Friday, July 6. Uruguay v France match will be held at in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.Peter Collins is with Damien Duff, Keith Andrews and Kevin Doyle for reaction to Saturday’s Round of 16 games between Uruguay and Portugal, and France and Argentina.

Team and Squad News

France’s squad

France’s 23-man squad: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda; Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane; N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N’Zonzi, Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir; Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Uruguay’s squad

Uruguay’s 23-man squad: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana, Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela, Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Diego Laxalt, Cristian Rodriguez, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Martin Campana (Independiente)

Defenders: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Martin Caceres (Lazio)

Midfielders: Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey)

Forwards: Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)