England lost to Croatia in the semis, but face Belgium for third place.
England World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
England came fourth in the 2018 World Cup.
England vs Belgium – 3rd Place Playoff – 14th July, Saint Petersburg Match Report
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 3 Danny Rose (19 Marcus Rashford 46), 4 Eric Dier, 5 John Stones , 6 Harry Maguire, 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (7 Jesse Lingard 46), 12 Kieran Trippier, 16 Phil Jones, 17 Fabian Delph, 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (20 Dele Alli 84)
Belgium Starting XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweireld, 4 Vincent Kompany , 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 9 Romelu Lukaku (14 Dries Mertens 60), 10 Eden Hazard, 15 Thomas Meunier, 17 Youri Tielemans (19 Moussa Dembele 78), 22 Nacer Chadli (3 Thomas Vermaelen 39)
Belgium 2 England 0
Belgium: Meunier 4, Hazard 82
Belgium record their best-ever World Cup performance, an improvement on their fourth place in 1986, after a comfortable victory over England.
Belgium take an early lead and could have added a second goal but Jordan Pickford stops Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected shot.
In the second half Belgium tire and England enjoy more possession and create more chances, notably for Eric Dier, whose shot is cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld. But Harry Kane, who is keen to score to seal his position as Golden Boot winner, is not fully fit and Belgium again hit on the break. Meunier almost scores a wondergoal with a volley before Eden Hazard adds a second on another break.
Matter of fact
Thomas Meunier was Belgium’s 10th different scorer in the tournament.
Belgium made two changes to the starting line-up that faced France in the semi-final, whereas England changed five of their team from the team that started against Croatia.
Possession (%): 43/57
Goal attempts: 12/15
Attempts on target: 4/5
Pass accuracy (%): 88/92
Distance covered (km): 108/110
England vs Croatia Semi Final, 11th July – Moscow Luzhniki
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker (11 Jamie Vardy 111), 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard, 8 Jordan Henderson (4 Eric Dier 97), 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (19 Marcus Rashford 74), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young (3 Danny Rose 91), 20 Dele Alli
Croatia Starting XI: 23 Danijel Subasic, 2 Sime Vrsaljko, 3 Ivan Strinic (22 Josip Pivaric 95), 4 Ivan Perisic, 6 Dejan Lovren, 7 Ivan Rakitic, 10 Luka Modric (19 Milan Badelj), 11 Marcelo Brozovic, 17 Mario Mandzukic (5 Vedran Corluka 115), 18 Ante Rebic (9 Andrej Kramaric 101), 21 Domagoj Vida
Croatia 2 England 1 (aet)
England: Trippier 5
Croatia: Perisic 67, Mandzukic 109
Croatia reached their first World Cup Final after coming from behind to beat England after extra-time. It was the third game in a row that they had recovered from a losing position to equalise and then ultimately triumph.
England had dominated the first half after taking an early-lead through Kieran Trippier’s excellent free-kick. The pace of Raheem Sterling troubled Croatia’s backline, while Luka Modric found himself boxed in by England’s midfield. England should have gone further ahead but Harry Kane was adjudged offside when shooting first at the keeper and then against a post and then Jesse Lingard, set up cleverly by Dele Alli, shot meekly wide.
Some sloppy defensive play by England at the end of the first half hinted at the trouble to come. Croatia returned with far more purpose after the break. Their pressing was more intense, their passing crisper. England switched off a number of times before they were punished by Ivan Perisic who attacked a cross, while Kyle Walker stood still.
The equaliser stunned England, who lost their main attacking outlet when Sterling was replaced by Marcus Rashford. Perisic almost added a winner in normal time but his shot struck a post. In extra time Jordan Pickford kept them in the game when he saved Mario Mandzukic’s shot with his foot. But with thoughts turning to penalties, Mandzukic punished another lax piece of defending, turning his shot past Pickford and sparking wild touchline celebrations with Croatia’s bench. England ended up chasing the game with 10 after Trippier was injured and all four subs had been used.
Luka Modric conceded a silly free-kick from which Trippier put England ahead after five minutes, but his influence grew through the 120 minutes, even if he could barely walk by the end of extra-time.
Possession (%): 54/46
Goal attempts: 22/11
Attempts on target: 7/1
Pass accuracy (%): 79/78
Distance covered (km): 143/148
England vs Sweden Quarter Final 7th July – Samara – Match Report
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard, 8 Jordan Henderson (4 Eric Dier 85), 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (19 Marcus Rashford 90+1), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young, 20 Dele Alli (17 Fabian Delph 76)
Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Sebastian Larsson, 8 Albin Ekdal, 9 Marcus Berg, 10 Emil Forsberg (5 Martin Olsson 65), 16 Emil Krafth (18 Pontus Janssen 85), 17 Viktor Claesson, 20 Ola Toivonen (11 John Guidetti 65)
Sweden 0 England 2
England: Maguire 30, Alli 59
Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli sent England into their first semi-final since 1990 after seeing off Sweden in Samara.
After slow start, when Sweden were happy to play at a reduced pace, England upped the tempo and after half an hour won their first corner, from which Maguire scored.
Raheem Sterling twice had excellent chances to extend the lead before half-time, but was denied by an excellent save from Robin Olsen
England extended their lead after the break through Alli and Sweden were denied a route back into the game by a series of outstanding saves by Jordan Pickford, from Viktor Claesson and Marcus Berg (twice).
Matter of fact
England’s opening goal by Harry Maguire was the eighth set-piece they have scored in Russia.
Dele Alli had been criticised for his earlier performances and appeared to be short of fitness. But he answered his critics by scoring the goal that sealed England’s place in the semi-final.
Possession (%): 43/57
Goal attempts: 7/12
Attempts on target: 3/4
Pass accuracy (%): 74/80
Distance covered (km): 107/110
England vs Colombia – Round of 16 (3rd July), Moscow Spartak Match Report
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker (19 Marcus Rashford 113), 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard, 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (11 Jamie Vardy 88), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young (3 Danny Rose 102), 20 Dele Alli (4 Eric Dier 81)
Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 4 Santiago Arias (2 Cristian Zapata 116), 5 Wilmar Barrios, 6 Carlos Sanchez (15 Mateus Uribe 79), 9 Radamel Falcao, 11 Juan Cuadrado, 13 Yerry Mina, 16 Jefferson Lerma (7 Carlos Bacca 62), 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero (14 Luis Muriel 88), 23 Davinson Sanchez
Colombia 1 England 1
England 4-3 on pens
England: Kane 57pen
Colombia: Mina 90+3
England reached the quarter-finals after winning a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the time time. It was a deserved victory for Gareth Southgate’s young side, who came up against a Colombia team that, without the injured James Rodriguez, set out to frustrate and provoke.
Colombia offered very little attacking threat but claimed an unexpected stoppage-time equaliser through Yerry Mina that cancelled out Harry Kane’s second-half spot-kick.
England made a bright start but despite a succession of early set-pieces could not find a way through until Kane was bundled over at a corner and given the chance to score his third penalty of the tournament.
But just as it seemed England had ridden the storm, the setpiece specialists were undone by Mina’s header from a corner. Colombia’s subs meant they went into the extra period with a much more attacking outlook, but it was England, with chances for Danny Rose and Eric Dier, who went closest to avoiding the shoot-out.
A familar scenario for England but an unexpected outcome as Dier held his nerve after misses by Jordan Henderson, Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca, striking the decisive penalty to send the Colombians out.
Matter of fact
Harry Kane became the first player to score in six consecutive England appearances since Tommy Lawton in 1939.
American referee Mark Geiger appeared to be in danger of losing control of the game after he showed Wilmar Barrios a yellow not red card following a headbutt on Jordan Henderson. And he struggled to control Colombian protests after awarding England the second-half penalty.
Possession (%): 48/52
Goal attempts: 14/6
Attempts on target: 7/9
Pass accuracy (%): 78/82
Distance covered (km): 136/143
England vs Belgium (28th June) Match Report
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 3 Danny Rose, 4 Eric Dier, 5 John Stones (6 Harry Maguire 46), 11 Jamie Vardy, 15 Gary Cahill, 16 Phil Jones, 17 Fabian Delph, 19 Marcus Rashford, 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22 Trent Alexander-Arnold (14 Danny Welbeck 79)
Belgium Starting XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 3 Thomas Vermaelen (4 Vincent Kompany 74), 8 Marouane Fellaini, 16 Thorgan Hazard, 17 Youri Tielemans, 18 Adnan Januzaj (14 Dries Mertens 86), 19 Mousa Dembele, 20 Dedryck Boyata, 21 Michy Batshuayi, 22 Nacer Chadli, 23 Leander Dendoncker
England 0 Belgium 1
Belgium: Januzaj 51
A brilliant goal from Adnan Januzaj sealed victory for Belgium, who claimed top place in the group but were also handed a potentially trickier route to the knockout stage’s later rounds.
With both teams already qualified for the last 16, reserve players got their opportunity to shine; Belgium made nine changes to England’s eight.
It was a more intense contest than some had predicted but chances were few and far between. Belgium’s players looked the more comfortable and Januzaj claimed the game’s only goal when he tricked his way inside left-back Danny Rose and fired past Jordan Pickford.
England’s best chance fell to Marcus Rashford, whose shot was tipped wide by Thibaut Courtois.
Matter of fact
This was England’s first defeat for 12 months under Southgate.
Did they or didn’t they? Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had admitted “the priority was not to win” but his bench celebrated with Gusto when Januzaj scored.
Possession (%): 48/52
Goal attempts: 13/15
Attempts on target: 7/4
Pass accuracy (%): 86/88
Distance covered (km): 109/106
England vs Panama (24th June) Match Report
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard (17 Fabian Delph 63), 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane (11 Jamie Vardy 63), 10 Raheem Sterling, 12 Kieran Trippier (3 Danny Rose 70), 18 Ashley Young, 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Panama Starting XI: 1 Jaime Penedo, 2 Michael Murillo, 4 Fidel Escobar, 5 Ramon Torres, 6 Gabriel Gomez (23 Felipe Baloy 69), 7 Blas Perez, 8 Edgar Barcenas (16 Abdiel Arroyo 69), 11 Armando Cooper, 15 Erick Davis, 20 Anibal Godoy (19 Ricardo Avila 62), 21 Jose Rodriguez
England 6 Panama 1
England: Stones 9, 40 Kane 22pen 45+1pen, 62, Lingard 36
Panama: Baloy 73
England enjoyed their biggest ever World Cup win after thrashing Panama 6-1 to qualify for the knockout stage and send the Central Americans out of the competition.
The emphatic victory was achieved in spite of Panama’s strong-arm tactics, with four of England’s goals coming from set-pieces. Jesse Lingard scored the pick of the goals, a curled shot form outside the area, while Harry Kane claimed a hat-trick.
Veteran Felipe Baloy’s consolation goal was wildly celebrated by Panama’s fans.
Matter of fact
Harry Kane became the third Englishman, after Geoff Hurst (1966) and Gary Lineker (1986), to score a World Cup hat-trick.
Panama came under fire for their strong-arm tactics, which included raising elbows to the opposition and multiple grappling at corners.
Possession (%): 58/42
Goal attempts: 12/8
Attempts on target: 3/5
Pass accuracy (%): 93/89
Distance covered (km): 99/89
England vs Tunisia (18th June) Match Report
The three lions face Tunisia in their first game amidst huge pressure after a good tournament build up. Match preview here.
England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard (4 Eric Dier 90+3), 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (19 Marcus Rashford 68), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young, 20 Dele Alli (21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek 80)
Tunisia Starting XI: 22 Mouez Hassen (1 Farouk Ben Mustapha 16),2 Syam Ben Youssef, 4 Yassine Meriah, 8 Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, 9 Anice Badri, 10 Wahbi Khazri (19 Saber Khalifa 85), 11 Dylan Bronn, 12 Ali Maaloul, 13 Ferjani Sassi, 17 Ellyes Skhiri, 23 Naim Sliti (Mohamed Ben Amor 74)
Tunisia 1 England 2
Tunisia: Sassi 35pen
England: Kane 11, 90+1
An injury-time header from Harry Kane gave England an opening-game victory that had looked to be slipping away from them after Tunisia had dug deep to defend a point.
England made a confident, energetic start, taking an early lead through Kane with another header from a corner. But poor finishing and uncertain defending allowed Tunisia back into the contest via a debatable penalty.
There was less intensity in the second half, which suited Tunisia in their search for a point. But England were patient enough to keep plugging away and late substitutions helped to engineer the corner from which Kane snatched the winner.
Tunisia’s penalty award following Kyle Walker’s foul was cleared by VAR, but holding fouls on Harry Kane, when the centre-forward was dragged to the ground at two subsequent corners, were ignored by the officials. But Kane was left alone in second-half stoppage time to head the winning goal.
Possession (%): 40/60
Goal attempts: 6/17
Attempts on target: 3/7
Pass accuracy (%): 80/90
Distance covered (km): 103/105
England World Cup Guide
England qualified comfortably for the 2018 World Cup without setting the world alight. They were unbeaten in 10 games but scored only 18 goals and often struggled to break down defensive-minded teams. Gareth Southgate stepped up from an under-21 role following Sam Allardyce’s surprise exit. There were disappointing crowds at Wembley – but England still had the highest average attendance of any European qualifier.
Key Moments in Qualifying
Sam Allardyce quits as manager after 67 days and one game in charge – the 1-0 victory over Slovakia – following a newspaper “sting”.
An injury-time equaliser from Harry Kane earns a 2-2 draw with Scotland at Hampden Park.
After struggling to break down a Malta side that put 10 men behind the ball, England score three times in the last five minutes. Three days later, they recover from conceding an early goal to beat Slovakia 2-1.
A 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley confirms qualification in front of a disappointing crowd at Wembley.
England World Cup Group
England World Cup Friendlies
England’s first 2018 warm-up match was against the Netherlands on the 23rd of March, and then Italy followed four days later. Two more friendlies followed on the 2nd and 7th of June against Nigeria, and Costa Rica. They won three and drew one.
- 23rd March – Netherlands (won 1-0)
- 27th March – Italy (drew 1-1)
- 2nd June – Nigeria (won 2-1)
- 7th June – Costa Rica (won 2-0)
England World Cup Fixtures
Related: Englands Route To The Final
Gareth Southgate, age 47 (03.09.70)
Caretaker from September 2016, he was handed a four-year deal that November. Previously the under-21s’ manager, he played in the 1998 World Cup finals, where England lost in the round of 16, and missed a crucial penalty in England’s Euro 96 semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane rescued the side on a number of occasions with crucial goals and was appointed captain in October 2017.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli makes clever runs from midfield. Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson was Southgate’s preferred choice to anchor the midfield, with Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier. Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is a vibrant attacking right-back. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford was deployed as a wide attacker or from the bench.
All-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international football in August 2017. Liverpool pair Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge missed much of the qualifying campaign through injury.
Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks made his debut in the final qualifier against Lithuania. Centre-backs Harry Maguire and Michael Keane, and right-back Kieran Trippier also featured during qualifying.
England World Cup Squad
Final World Cup Squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).
DEFENDERS: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).
England World Cup Injuries
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out with a knee injury picked up against Roma during the Champions League.
The Unanswered Questions
Who will score the goals if Harry Kane is injured?
Kane was top scorer in the qualifiers, while Jamie Vardy has struggled to repeat his Leicester form of two years ago, and all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney is no longer available.
Will Southgate opt for a back three?
The manager has encouraged all England teams, from under-17s upwards, to play 4-2-3-1 but has recently experimented with a 3-4-3.
At World Soccer we will update you with all the news related to the World Cup on our website. Make sure you know about the Groups, Friendlies, Dates, Fixtures, Stadiums, TV Schedule, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.
Also don’t forget to follow World Soccer on Facebook, and Twitter.