England have confirmed their semi-final of World Cup 2018 after Croatia beat Russia in a penalty shootout on Wednesday. The Three Lions will face Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow after the World Cup hosts crashed out.
It came hours after England clinched a 2-0 win over Sweden in a dramatic match at the Samara Arena enabling them to advance to their first semi-final since 1990.
Harry Maguire opened the scoring for England — heading the ball home from an Ashley Young corner half an hour into the game.
Despite that, it was a jittery first half with England coming close several times. Just before the half-time whistle blew, Raheem Sterling twice had the ball deep in Sweden’s territory with little, no defence in front of him, but squandered both chances.
In the second half, Sweden looked dangerous as England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was forced to produce a stunning save after Marcus Berg’s towering header looked destined for the back of the net.
But England pressed home their advantage in the 58th minute with a Dele Alli header following an attack that seemed to involve most of England’s front line.
Likewise, 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.
Fyodor Smolov saw Russia’s first penalty saved by Danijel Subasic and, although Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved a Mateo Kovacic kick, the hosts’ fate was sealed when Mario Fernandes fired completely wide from their third attempt.
Croatia then went ahead with a soft header in the 11th minute of extra time but Brazilian-born Fernandes headed the hosts level with five minutes of play remaining to send the game to penalties.