Almost 4 weeks have passed and we have halftime in the knockout round of the Football World Cup in Russia. In the semifinals, France, Belgium, England and Croatia are now the last 4 of a total of 32 teams, which most certainly only few would have expected. Especially Belgium and Croatia could write football history with their 1st advancement to the finals.
But first a brief review of the history of the knockout-round so far:
1. Semi-final pairing:
2. Semi-final pairing:
After Germany, as the reigning world champion, had a surprising retirement in the preliminary round, it was followed by Portugal, as the reigning european champion, in the round of 16, as well as Argentina and Spain who were serious contenders for the world title. In the quarterfinals also the record world champion Brazil was defeated in the end by a very strong Belgian team. While France seemed to be entering the semi-finals with ease, Croatia were far from a convincing performance with barely surviving two penalty shootouts. For England – as the motherland of football – everything is possible now, after overcoming their alleged penalty trauma at world championships and their good performance against Sweden. P>
Let’s look forward to the two hopefully exciting semi-final games! 🙂