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France is back in the World Cup final for the first time since Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in 2006. Samuel Umtiti used his head to score from a corner kick in the 51st minute and earn France a 1-0 victory over Belgium 12 years after one of soccer’s most infamous moments. France will face either Croatia or England in the final on Sunday in Moscow. Those two teams play in the other semifinal match on Wednesday.
Flaunting his flair and his finishing touch wasn’t enough. Neymar put his theatrics on show, too. What became clear in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday is that the wild side of the striker’s character is going nowhere at this year’s World Cup. And neither is Brazil.
Jan Vertonghen started Belgium’s comeback with a wild, looping header and Nacer Chaldi capped it by finishing off a 10-second, end-to-end attack in the final moments. It added up to a 3-2 victory over Japan on Monday that gave the Belgians a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals for the second straight tournament.
When Harry Kane takes the field for England on Tuesday, it will be his first match in nine days. He’s still the leading scorer at the World Cup.
In the second straight shootout of the tournament, the Croats advanced to the quarterfinals on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Denmark on penalties following a 1-1 draw in Nizhny Novgorod.
Igor Akinfeev saved two shots during the shootout, while all of his teammates scored to give Russia a 4-3 advantage after a draw that was dominated by Spain in every way but the 1-1 score. Russia – the lowest ranked team in the World Cup at No. 70 in the world – is stunningly going to the quarterfinals to face Croatia or Denmark on Saturday.
Edinson Cavani scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo none. That gave Uruguay a 2-1 victory over Portugal at the World Cup. Ronaldo’s exit came on the same day that Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina’s loss.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in a five-minute span to lead France over Argentina 4-3 and into the World Cup quarterfinals. The loss could be the end of Lionel Messi’s international career.
No matter what Lionel Messi does at the World Cup, Diego Maradona will be watching. Messi was already facing outsize pressure in what could be his last World Cup, and Maradona has become an inescapable part of it. Argentina’s biggest World Cup hero is sure to be emotional in the stands again when Argentina begins knockout play against a talented France squad. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal play Uruguay in Saturday’s other knockout match.
Panama’s coach didn’t like it when someone called his team the worst at the World Cup. The Central American country lost all three of its group matches at the tournament, including a 2-1 defeat to Tunisia.
Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri set up a second-half goal and then scored one of his own to help his side secure its first victory in a World Cup in four decades. The striker’s hard, rising shot in the 66th minute lifted Tunisia to a 2-1 triumph over Panama. Both Group G teams were already eliminated going into the match.
Colombia’s joy at moving on to the knockout round at this World Cup was tempered by concern for their star from the last one. Midfielder James Rodriguez left in the 31st minute of the team’s 1-0 victory over Senegal on Thursday night.
Belgium came out on top in a match neither team had to win and took first place in its World Cup group with a 1-0 victory over England. Adnan Januzaj scored with a curling shot in the 51st minute on a night of little tension or attacking intent. Belgium gets what appears to be an easier match in the next round against Japan on Monday in Rostov-on-Don. England will face Colombia on Tuesday in Moscow.
All yellow cards assessed against Japan and Senegal in the group stage of the World Cup, with player, opponent, time, cause and referee.
Yerry Mina scored on a header in the 74th minute and Colombia has defeated Senegal 1-0 to secure a spot in the knockout round at the World Cup. Senegal was tied for second place with Japan but was eliminated by a new tiebreaker. Japan moves on because it had fewer yellow cards.
Japan advanced to the knockout round at the World Cup on a tiebreaker by receiving fewer yellow cards than Senegal. The Japanese lost to Poland 1-0 in their final group match but still reached the round of 16 because Colombia beat Senegal 1-0.
Switzerland has qualified for the round of 16 at the World Cup despite twice losing the lead in a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica. Costa Rica scored from a penalty kick in stoppage time. The result didn’t hurt Switzerland’s progression as the second-place team in Group E. Brazil topped the group. Costa Rica had already been eliminated. Switzerland will play Sweden next.
Paulinho and Thiago Silva scored a goal each to give Brazil a 2-0 victory over Serbia and first place in their World Cup group. Brazil won Group E and will next face Mexico in the round of 16 on Monday in Samara. Serbia was eliminated.
The tears flowed on both sides of the field after South Korea beat Germany at the World Cup. The South Koreas struggled to compose themselves even in victory following a 2-0 win that knocked the defending champion Germans out of the tournament. That’s because South Korea entered the match with a slim chance to advance but couldn’t get it done.
It was a surreal atmosphere at the end of the last group game between Mexico and Sweden at the World Cup. The Mexican fans in the packed arena in Yekaterinburg erupted in wild celebrations despite the fact their team was losing 3-0. The cheers were for a South Korea team playing in another city. The South Koreans pulled off a shock by beating defending champion Germany in a result that sent Mexico to the knockout stage.