World Cupdate: Russia’s Fairytale Comes to an End

via @FIFAWorldCup

Welcome to your daily 2018 FIFA World Cup update, or World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from Russia while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from Russia.

Here’s What Happened: Saturday, July 7th

Quarterfinals action at the 2018 FIFA World Cup resumed on Saturday and we now know the two teams joining France and Belgium in the semifinals. England powered past Sweden in the day’s first match by a score of 2-0 and booked its first semifinal trip since 1990 while Croatia ended Russia’s fairytale run in a penalty shootout for its first semifinal trip since the 1998 World Cup.

England controlled its match against Sweden for the most part, using two set piece goals to build a lead Sweden could never recover from. He wasn’t called on much, but when England needed Jordan Pickford he came up with the timely saves to keep the Three Lions in front and advance to the semifinals.

A second straight penalty shootout was needed for Croatia to join England in the semifinals, making it the first time ever a nation has won consecutive penalty shootouts in the same World Cup.

Everything you could possibly need to know and much, much more can be found in today’s World Cupdate.

Sweden 0-2 England

For the first time since the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England will be playing in the semifinals following a commanding 2-0 win over Sweden in the quarterfinals on Saturday and are one step away from their second ever World Cup Final. In control for most of the match, England never looked to be in trouble and played a great match after taking the lead in the first half.

You may be used to Harry Kane scoring goals for England at this point, but it was a different Harry playing the hero on Saturday. Centre back Harry Maguire got his head on the end of a corner kick in the 30th minute to put England in front. That lead was doubled in the second half when Dele Alli did the same off a free kick in the 59th minute. Jordan Pickford continued his heroics making timely stops but it never felt like England was losing control of the game.

Back in the semifinals for the first time in 28 years, England will take on Croatia with a spot in the World Cup Final on the line. Sweden return home disappointed but national heroes for its performance in Russia.


  • Harry Maguire | ENG (30′)
  • Dele Alli | ENG (59′)


Russia 2(3)-2(4) Croatia (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties)

Both Russia and Croatia needed penalties to win their respective Round of 16 matches so it should be no surprise that it came down to penalties to decide a winner between the two. When the dust settled, it was Croatia winning a second consecutive penalty shootout to move on the to semifinals and bring to an end Russia’s incredible run on its home soil.

The two team traded goals in the first half but neither side could find a winner in the second half, sending the game to extra time. It appeared Croatia found a winner in the first half of extra time but Russia answered back in the 115th minute to keep its dream alive. In the penalty shootout, Croatia prevailed courtesy of two Russian misses and advanced to the semifinals for the second time as an independent nation.

Croatia will meet England in the second semifinals match to be played on Wednesday in Moscow while Russia see its dream run come to an end in the quarterfinals of its home World Cup.


  • Denis Cheryshev | RUS (31′)
  • Andrej Kramaric | CRO (39′)
  • Domagoj Vida | CRO (101′)
  • Mário Fernandes | RUS (115′)


And of course, here is the full shootout to watch if you so desire.

That is a wrap on the quarterfinal stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. England and Croatia will join France and Belgium in the semifinals to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each side will be guaranteed two more games with the Third Place match coming into play next Saturday.

Plays of the Day

Another day of great saves and great goals gave us plenty to choose from for our best plays from Saturday’s schedule of action. Here’s the three best from Match-day 2 of the quarterfinals.

Jordan Pickford (England)

Already an English hero for his performance against Colombia in the shootout, Jordan Pickford added his legend with this second half save to keep the Three Lions in front. Pickford was not exceptionally busy on Saturday, but he came up big when he had to.

Denis Cheryshev (Russia)

One of the best stories of this World Cup has been the emergence of Denis Cheryshev for Russia. Coming on as a substitute in the first game of the tournament, Cheryshev has been one of the best players for the host nation and added to his great World Cup with this golazo against Croatia.

Mário Fernandes (Russia)

On the brink of being eliminated from the World Cup, Mário Fernandes etched his name in Russian football lore with this 115th minute header to keep the home side alive and force a penalty shootout.

Check back Wednesday for more great plays from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Bracket Update

Semifinal number two is now set with Croatia and England meeting on Wednesday in Moscow to determine who will play in the World Cup Final and which side will be relegated to playing in the Third Place match.

via @FOXSoccer

Semifinals Outlook

Tuesday, July 10th: France v. Belgium; 2:00 PM

Wednesday, July 11th: Croatia v. England; 2:00 PM

Those are two great matches with a ton of great storylines that make up the semifinals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and we will be bringing you a special preview breaking down everything you need to know to prepare yourself. Look four our semifinals preview to drop on Tuesday morning before France and Belgium get the proceedings underway.

Here’s What’s Next: Tuesday, July 10th

After a few days off, semifinal action will get underway at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France and Belgium playing for a spot in the World Cup Final on Sunday. Both sides are coming off big time victories over South American opponents and have the look of being worthy champions. Unfortunately, only one will have the opportunity to raise the trophy in Moscow.

France v. Belgium

  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Location: Saint Petersburg Stadium (St. Petersburg)
  • How to Watch: FOX

On paper, this looks to be the best of the two semifinal matches at this World Cup. Both France and Belgium entered the tournament as two of the favorites to win the World Cup and have only further established themselves through five games in Russia. Wealthy attacking options on both sides coupled with depth everywhere else means this should be one of the best games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Projected Lineups

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 9.24.14 PMScreen Shot 2018-07-03 at 9.36.58 PM

You can watch all these games live on the channels listed or streaming online at with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time

Golden Boot Update

The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 10.44.34 PM.png
via beIN Sports

Only four of the top ten goal scorers at the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be in action during the semifinals and Harry Kane still leads the pack with six goals in the tournament.

Keep up to date on everything World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in Russia.

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