FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-finals in review

Monday, 2018-07-09 07:59:06
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Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev looked dejected while the Croatian players celebrated a dramatic victory following the penalty shootout during their quarter-final match at Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO - The last four of the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals have been confirmed following the series of quarter-final matches over the past two days. With Brazil and Uruguay both eliminated, the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup will be an internal competition of European football. In addition, hosts Russia cannot continue their miraculous journey at the tournament after their defeat in the penalty shootout to Croatia.

The match between Russia and Croatia witnessed tension until the end of extra time. Underdogs Russia unexpectedly opened the scoring thanks to Denis Cheryshev's superb strike in the 31st minute. (Photo: Reuters)

However, Croatia also proved to be a great team as they quickly found the equaliser several minutes later, thanks to Andrej Kramaric’s header. (Photo: Reuters)

Russia fought bravely against the relentless attacks from the Croatian side in the second half, forcing the game into extra time after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes. In the 101st minute, Domagoj Vida suddenly sent Croatia into a 2-1 lead. (Photo: Reuters)

The dramatic rollercoaster didn’t end there. After a lot of chances, Russia made it 2-2 with just five minutes to go, thanks to the header from defender Mario Fernandes. (Photo: Reuters)

But Fernandes turned from hero to villian as he missed his penalty in the following shoot-out, sending Russia to a 3-4 defeat on penalties. (Photo: Reuters)

Earlier, England earned a 2-0 victory over Sweden to put their name into the semi-finals. The Three Lions scored the opening goal from a corner, thanks to the brave header of defender Harry Maguire. (Photo: FIFA)

In the second half, England remained the dominant team and added another goal scored by Dele Alli, also with a header. (Photo: Reuters)

However, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was the new hero for England in the match making at least three saves to deny Sweden’s efforts, thus preserving the victory for his team. (Photo: Reuters)

England fans celebrate their home team's victory. This is the first time in nearly three decades that England has reached the semi-finals at the World Cup. (Photo: Action Images)

In the first quarter-final match, France beat South American side Uruguay 2-0 to be the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. Center-back Raphael Varane scored the opening goal for Les Bleus in the 40th minute. (Photo: Reuters)

The French defensive line also performed brilliantly, with an excellent goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. In this photo, the French keeper made a save from Uruguay's Martin Caceres shot at goal. (Photo: Getty Images)

Against Lloris’s excellent performance, on the opposite side, his colleague Fernando Muslera had a day to forget. Uruguay's goalkeeper fumbled the ball into his net as Antoine Griezmann scored the second goal for France. (Photo: Getty Images)

After Uruguay's defeat, the remaining representatives of South American football in the tournament, Brazil, also suffered the same fate. They started well against Belgium, but Fernandinho's own goal in the 13th minute signaled a bad day for the Selecao. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the 31st, the score was 2-0 in favour of Belgium thanks to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne’s strike. (Photo: Reuters)

In the second half, impatience influenced the accuracy of the Brazilian players’ finishes. All the efforts by the yellow shirted team only helped them to narrow the score to 1-2 from Renato Augusto’s header in the 76th minute. (Photo: Getty Images)

Losing 1-2, Neymar and his teammates bid farewell to the 2018 World Cup. (Photo: Reuters)

A distraught Brazilian fan after the match. From now on, the 2018 World Cup will be "clean" of South American representatives. The biggest football tournament is now just an internal story of European football. (Photo: Reuters)