World Cupdate: The Stage is Set

via Getty Images

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: Wednesday, July 11th

For the first time in history, Croatia will take part in the World Cup final following a 2-1 extra time victory over England in the second semifinal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. England struck early and seemed to be on its way through until Croatia ramped up the pressure in the second half and forced extra time for a third straight match.

Running on what looked like fumes, Croatia found a winner in the second extra time period and will advance to the World Cup Final on Sunday in Moscow where France will be waiting.

Croatia 2-1 England

For 45 minutes, it looked like England was perfectly positioned to return to the World Cup Final for the first time since winning it all in 1966. England were in the lead at halftime courtesy a free kick beauty from Kieran Trippier and they simply looked dominant in the opening half. The only criticism for England was its inability to capitalize and score a second goal to pad the lead.

After halftime, it looked like two different teams were playing as an exhausted Croatia team fought back and took control of the game. A deserved equalizer finally came Croatia’s way in the 68th minute off the foot of Ivan Perisic and they almost took the lead moments later when Perisic hit the woodwork.

Neither side could find a winner in regular time so the teams headed to a combined fifth extra time game of the tournament. Four minutes into the second extra time period, Mario Mandzukic slipped behind the England defense to receive a pass and neatly slide it into the back of the net for the goal that sends Croatia to its first ever World Cup Final.

Whatever Croatia has left in the tank will be needed when they take on a well rested France team in the Final on Sunday. England exceeded all expectations but will feel they missed several opportunities on Wednesday. They will now head to St. Petersburg for the Third Place match with Belgium on Saturday.


  • Kieran Trippier | ENG (5′)
  • Ivan Perisic | CRO (68′)
  • Mario Mandzukic | CRO (109′)


That will close the door on the semifinals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and we now know it will be France and Croatia playing for the World Cup title on Sunday in Moscow.

Goals of the Day

Croatia and England scored three times as many goals in their semifinal match than what France and Belgium produced just 24 hours earlier. Any goal at this stage is important and possibly history making. All are worthy to be highlighted.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Coming into Wednesday’s match, Kieran Trippier had never scored a goal in an England uniform. He changed that just five minutes into the match with this dazzling free kick to give England the early lead.

Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

Croatia were 20 minutes away from crashing out of the World Cup before Ivan Perisic saved the day with an equalizer in the 68th minute. Perisic just beat Kyle Walker to the ball and used a karate kick to level the score.

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia)

Deep into its third extra time game in as many matches, Mario Mandzukic scored the goal that will be remembered for the rest of time to Croatian fans across the world.

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

Bracket Update

Four weeks of great football have led us to this final weekend of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Kicking off the show on Saturday will be the Third Place match between Belgium and England. Both of these teams came out of Group G and reached the semifinals before losing. Belgium won the group stage match between the two sides and it remains to be see just how many regulars will suit up for this rematch.

Sunday marks the culmination of the last 30 days of football with the World Cup Final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. France and Croatia will take the pitch one final time in Russia to determine a World Cup champion. France will be playing in its third World Cup Final while Croatia will be making its inaugural trip to the biggest game on the international stage.

via @FOXSports

Finals Outlook

Third Place Match: Belgium v. England; Saturday, July 14th @ 10:00 AM

World Cup Final: France v. Croatia; Sunday, July 15th @ 11:00 AM

As we have done with each knockout round, there will be a special preview section for the upcoming Third Place and World Cup Final matches to be played this weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for that to drop sometime in the next few days so you can be primed for this final weekend of World Cup action.

Here’s What’s Next: Final Weekend

Two matches remain in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and both will be played this Saturday and Sunday but each will be carrying a different weight. Saturday kicks off the final weekend of play with the Third Place match between Belgium and England. All the action comes to a close on Sunday where it all began in Moscow with the World Cup Final between France and Croatia.

Third Place Match : Belgium v. England

  • Date: Saturday, July 14th
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Location: Saint Petersburg Stadium (St. Petersburg)
  • How to Watch: FOX

Oftentimes, teams playing in the Third Place match will start a lot of subs to get them playing time and experience. There is not much to play for here except for a bit of consolation heading home with one final victory. Belgium and England will be disappointed that they both missed out on the real prize but there is a chance we could see Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane go head-to-head for the Golden Boot title.

World Cup Final: France v. Croatia

  • Date: Sunday, July 15th
  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Location: Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow)
  • How to Watch: FOX


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 2018-07-11 at 6.35.13 PM.png
via beIN Sports

No change in the Golden Boot standings following Wednesday’s semifinal match. Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku will face-off in the Third Place match on Saturday but it’s hard to say right now if either will play.

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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