SAMARA, RUSSIA — England reached their first World Cup semifinal since 1990 on Saturday, comfortably beating Sweden to set up a last-four clash against Croatia, who ended Russia’s fairytale run in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

Gareth Southgate’s young team started their match in Samara as firm favorites and had too much for the Swedes, although they were indebted to another fine performance from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in a 2-0 win.

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KAZAN—Four years after the psychodrama of Neymar’s injury and a humiliating World Cup semi-final defeat as hosts, Brazil are forced to come to terms with the crushing disappointment of a failed mission in Russia.

It was not meant to be like this, Tite’s side dumped out of the tournament in the quarter-finals at the hands of Belgium, losing 2-1 in Kazan.

They had come to the World Cup determined to confirm their revival following the 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany in Belo Horizonte, and there were plenty of reasons for optimism.

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The numbers say it all: out of 26 matches under Tite’s command, A Seleção have won 20, drawn four and lost only two. They have scored 55 goals and conceded just eight. Coming into Friday’s meeting with Belgium, they had never conceded more than one goal in a game and had put together a run of 15 matches without defeat.

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