DAVID BIANCULLI

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2018 FIFA WORLD CUP
July 11, 2018  | By David Bianculli

Fox, 2:00 p.m. ET

 

Yesterday, France controlled its match against the usually explosive Belgium so handily, and methodically, it was such a defensive display of confidence and greatness that, when France struck with a goal partway through, there was the sense that would be enough – and it was. France will play in the 2018 World Cup Final on Sunday, facing whichever team emerges triumphant in today’s semifinal match between England and Croatia. Croatia has served up nail-biting thrillers its last two games, beating Denmark in the knockout stage only after winning 3-2 on penalty kicks, then knocked host team Russia out of the quarterfinals by lasting until the penalty-kick phase again, and winning 4-3. England had its own recent penalty-kick thriller, playing Colombia to a draw in regulation and extended play in the knockout stage, then outlasting Columbia by beating them 4-3 on penalty kicks. England then beat Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals, displaying a confidence and patience that makes them an unexpectedly exciting team for which to root also. So today, it’s England vs. Croatia – another potentially great game in what has been a phenomenally unpredictable and entertaining World Cup series.

 
 
 
 
 
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