Football is, for the time being, still coming home. England dispatched a pesky, organized Sweden side who looked overmatched physically and tactically as Cosmos Arena in Samara. Sweden didn’t lose without putting up a fight, but the Fighting Yellows (that’s probably what they call them), never looked like the better side or like they’d mount a comeback. England took the lead at the half-hour mark off a simple corner kick set piece headed in by center back Harry Maguire, overpowering the more diminutive Emil Forsberg who was marking him. Then, near the hour mark, Dele Alli sealed the game with another headed goal, prompting this “lad” to toss the fresh beers his “mate” had just spent far too long retrieving.
England will be making its first appearance in a World Cup semifinal since 1990 where they lost to West Germany on penalties. England has a sense of destiny about them this tournament. They’ve already vanquished the penalty demons, they’ve been gifted a relatively easy schedule... can England really win this thing?
It took an extra 30 minutes of play and penalties, but Croatia survived the [potentially doping] Russian national team to punch its ticket to a World Cup semifinal. It’s Croatia’s second World Cup semifinal in the nation’s history, having finished third overall in 1998. Croatia equalized shortly before the first half off the head of Andrej Kramaric. The game stayed level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, and it looked like Croatia would go through after extra time thanks to Domagoj Vida’s header in the 101’. But Russia didn’t quit against an injured Danijel Subasic in goal for Croatia, and Mauro Fernandes equalized again with only five minutes remaining in extra time. In the end, Croatia finished better from the penalty spot and secured their place as England’s opponent in the semifinal.
HE DOES IT AGAIN!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 7, 2018
For the second game in a row, Rakitic wins the penalty shootout for Croatia. pic.twitter.com/H3aH1Em3DP
England surely has an advantage against Croatia in the semifinal matchup. Croatia may be without its starting goalkeeper, and is coming off of its second consecutive 120-minute match.
Is it coming home?