Sports

Record number of set-piece goals scored at World Cup

Record number of set-piece goals scored at World Cup

Belgium has scored 14 goals in five matches and was hugely impressive in their 2-1 quarter-final victory over Brazil, with Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne combining to devastating effect to oust the five-times world champions.

But two unsuccessful Russian Federation penalties and Ivan Rakitic's match-winning effort silenced the home crowd and led Dalic to tears afterwards.

England's achievement in reaching the last four has been played down by some after they qualified from a group containing Tunisia and Panama before meeting Colombia and Sweden in the knockout phase.

"This was a good game, and a handsome one. But thank God we've shown our character".

"It came bursting out of me".

Rakitić explained his newfound gluten-free diet to El Pais: "I had a bit of luck, as in an analysis it turned out that I was celiac and I couldn't eat gluten, many times after games I felt pretty bad, bloated and I wasn't recovering so well". We made ourselves happy but also everybody back home in Croatia happy. "I don't cry often, but now I have a good cause".

Willian Dodges Chelsea Exit Talk Amid Barcelona, Manchester United Rumours
If Willian does come to Manchester, the club will definitely be boosted with the experience he has in the Premier League. Willian's departure would surely annoy Chelsea fans, as the Brazilian is one of the most liked performers in the squad.

The team and the country are riding a wave of adrenaline in matching the 1998 Croatian team and reaching the semis. This is a great result.

Dalic, however, said there was plenty left in the tank.

Captain and top scorer Harry Kane added: "Allan does finishing sessions with us, tells us about opposition defenders, goalkeepers, and tells us maybe where we can exploit a weakness".

Yet against Croatia he would have been England's best option to take their opponents on at their own game, with clever and inventive passing, masterful possession football and a growing ability to dictate the game.

Belgium have impressed against everyone they have played, and even when they did slip, going two down to Japan in the second round, they had the goal power to fight back and triumph. We are very motivated. "I really wanted to see in the flesh the men who gave us such a fairy-tale celebration. It will be a battle again, but I trust us and I have belief in us". Defensively they're getting better throughout the tournament with Hugo Lloris getting rid of his mistakes, plus Varane and Umtiti a fine central defensive partnership. Hazard's breakneck speed on the counter-attack was a useful asset as Belgium looked to close out the tie against Brazil, the 27-year-olds pace could be needed if Belgium takes the lead in the semi-final.

- Why has World Cup been full of surprises?


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