Tuesday 13 November 2018

England’s route to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup

Gareth Southgate’s side take on Croatia on Wednesday night.

Gareth Southgate has guided England to the World Cup semi-finals (Tim Goode/PA)
Gareth Southgate has guided England to the World Cup semi-finals (Tim Goode/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

England face Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the route that has taken Gareth Southgate’s side to the last four.

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Tunisia 1 England 2 – Group G, Volgograd, June 18

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Harry Kane (Adam Davy/PA)

A Harry Kane double got England off to a winning start, although they needed an injury-time winner from the Tottenham front man. A strong start from England was rewarded by Kane’s close-range finish from a corner after only 11 minutes, but Kyle Walker’s handball gifted Ferjani Sassi the chance to equalise from the spot before half-time. England probed without success for the second 45 minutes until, a minute into added-time, Kane’s far post header following another corner sealed victory.

England 6 Panama 1 – Group G, Nizhny Novgorod, June 24

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Jesse Lingard celebrates his superb finish against Panama (Adam Davy/PA)

Southgate’s side turned on the style against the ill-disciplined minnows, who were 5-0 down by half-time. Panama could not live with England’s strength at set-pieces, which led to John Stones heading the opener and Kane adding number two with a penalty. Jesse Lingard curled in the best of the bunch for number three before another Stones header and another Kane penalty put England in dreamland. Kane completed his hat-trick with a deflection he knew nothing about before Felipe Baloy’s late consolation.

England 0 Belgium 1 – Group G, Kaliningrad, June 28

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Belgium’s Adnan Januzaj condemned England to defeat in their final group game (Tim Goode/PA)

Both sides fielded second-string sides, having already qualified for the knockout stages and in the knowledge that finishing second in the group was likely to offer a more favourable route to the final. Adnan Januzaj’s brilliant solo goal won the match for Belgium.

Colombia 1 England 1 (England won 4-3 on penalties) – Last 16, Moscow, July 3

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England celebrate their penalty shootout win over Colombia (Owen Humphreys/PA)

England won a World Cup penalty shootout for the first time as Jordan Pickford’s save from Carlos Bacca and Eric Dier’s cool spot-kick sealed a dramatic victory. Colombia, without star man James Rodriguez through injury, adopted rough-house tactics but Southgate’s side kept their cool and went ahead through a second-half Kane penalty. They then recovered from conceding a last-gasp equaliser to Yerry Mina, and from Jordan Henderson missing first in the shootout, to win their first knockout game at a major tournament in 12 years.

Sweden 0 England 2 – Quarter-finals, Samara, July 7

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Harry Maguire thundered home the opening goal against Sweden (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Southgate’s side turned in their best performance of the tournament to see off a team who had kept three clean sheets in four games and contributed to Germany’s early elimination. Harry Maguire’s thumping first-half header got England up and running, with Dele Alli nodding home the second, but Pickford was again the star of the show with a couple of quite brilliant saves.

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