England were on Sunday looking forward to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 as Russian fans thanked their disappointed players after their fairytale World Cup run was halted by Croatia.
Gareth Southgate’s young team swept Sweden aside 2-0 on Saturday, sparking mass celebrations in England, where at least 20 million people watched the match on TV.
They will face Croatia, who had to endure a strength-sapping penalty shoot-out for the second consecutive match, in front of 80,000 people in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.
England is basking in the team’s run to the last four of the World Cup as fans start to believe that they can lift the trophy for the first time since 1966.
No FIFA ban for Vida
Croatia defender Domagoj Vida escaped a FIFA ban on Sunday after posting a clip dedicating his country’s victory over Russia in the quarter-finals to Ukraine.
FIFA said it had studied the video and decided to issue a warning to Vida but would take no further measures.
Russian fans paid tribute to their team, who exited the tournament after their defeat on penalties following 120 gruelling minutes of football.
The Russians were the lowest-ranked of the 32 teams at the World Cup.
Coach Stanislav Cherchesov led his players onto a stage to a heroes’ welcome in a Moscow fan zone.
“You were not the 12th player – you were the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th players,” Cherchesov told the crowd.
“We felt your support from the first second.”AFP
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