France vs Belgium
In the first semi finals of the world cup, France faced Belgium at the Krestovsky Stadium. The game that was initiated by Referee Andres Cunha, saw the French waiting for the right moment to pounce on Belgium’s high line of defence. However both the teams had a solid defence and the first half ended goalless. The deciding goal of the game came in the 51’ that was scored by Samuel Umtiti. He headed the ball past Thibaut Courtois, from a well delivered corner by Antoine Griezmann. The Belgians brought Chris Mertens on as a substitute to deliver as many crosses to their front men Romelu Lukaku but France stood firm in their defence. The match ended 1-0 and France qualified for the finals after a span of 12 years.
Croatia vs England
With France going through to the finals after defeating Belgium in the first semi finals, the football fans around the world waited for this match that was to played in the Luzhniki Stadium, with bated breath, to see who would be facing the French in the finals. England took an early lead in the fifth minute of the match from a brilliantly taken free-kick by Kieran Trippier, after Modric had tripped Dele Alli on the edge of the box. England did dominate the first half, not in terms of possession, but surely in terms of chances created. Croatia, however, got back in the game in the second half, and equalised in the 68th minute, after Ivan Perisic volleyed the ball from a Vrsaljko cross. Post the Croatian equaliser, both teams were pretty wasteful, and the match ended 1-1 in the regulation time, and went into the extra time, after playing 4 minutes of injury time in the second half. Croatia continued to dominate in the extra time, and took the lead in the 109th minute, as Mario Mandzukic, after having received the ball off a Perisic header, rounded the nearby defender, to slot the ball past Pickford. England couldn’t score after that, which meant that Croatia would be playing the finals of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. Three players went into referee Cuneyt Cakir’s book.