Goal brings you all the details of the tournament games and what channel they can be watched on in the UK and US
This summer’s World Cup are finally down to the last four teams at the semi-final stage, with Belgium playing France in the first fixture and Croatia facing off against England the day after.
Russia 2018 has been an eventful competition with underdogs rising to the occasion and tournament favourites crashing out agonisingly early, failing to live up to their own expectations.
Defending champions Germany were eliminated in the first round after finishing last in a group that involved the likes of Mexico, South Korea and Sweden – continuing the infamous ‘Champions’ Curse’.
Big-name favourites in Argentina and Spain were knocked out in the last 16 stage and Brazil and Uruguay went home in the quarter-finals.
England are looking to bring football home for the first time since 1966, while Croatia has been enjoying an impressive tournament. France will be aiming for World Cup glory after their 1998 heroics and Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ will attempt to live up to the plate.
Here is your complete guide to the 2018 World Cup final this Sunday, including where it’s being held, what time it is, and more.
|Game||World Cup final|
|Date||Sunday, July 15, 2018|
|Time||4pm BST / 11am ET|
|Venue||Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia|
The World Cup final will be played on Sunday July 15 and the game is scheduled to kick off at 16:00 BST (11:00m ET) .
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on TV on both BBC One and ITV and will be streamed on their respective On Demand services.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BBC One / ITV||BBC iPlayer/ ITV Player|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on the FOX network and by stream using the Fox Soccer Match Pass.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FOX||Fox Soccer Match Pass|
France and Belgium will clash in the first last eight fixture, with England and Croatia playing in the other.
Les Bleus were always a side thought to go far in Russia thanks to the sheer limitless talent of their squad, equipped with the star likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and more.
Didier Deschamps’ side were not as impressive as they should have been in the group stage when they won by single-goal margins against Peru and Australia before drawing in their final group game against Denmark to finish first.
In the next round, however, their stars showed their worth after they eliminated Argentina in a 4-3 thriller that included a Mbappe masterclass. They went on to defeat Uruguay 2-0 in the next round, thanks to Raphael Varane heading home from Griezmann’s cross and a goalkeeping blunder from opposition shot-stopper Fernando Muslera.
Belgium are another side to have entered the competition as favourites with a similarly talented team in Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne.
Surely enough, they cruised through the group stages and placed first ahead of England with wins over Tunisia and Panama. They defeated Belgium in an enthralling last 16 fixture against Japan that ended 3-2 – showing good character to equalise and then win the game in stoppage time after finding themselves 2-0 down after the break.
They continued to impress in their last eight tie against Brazil, winning 2-1 after a De Bruyne strike and an own goal from Fernandinho.
Croatia emerged as the tournament’s unprecedented dark horse after their emphatic 3-0 win against Argentina, where Real Madrid midfielder and national captain Luke Modric has formidably risen to the occasion. They finished first in their group and went on to beat former champions Spain and then Russia in a penalty shootout to book their spot in the last four.
England, who were never expected to do well in Russia following their notorious past form performing in World Cups, have the football coming home after breaking their penalty shootout curse in the last 16 fixture against Colombia. They went on to beat Sweden comfortably in the quarter-final 2-0, and are now two fixtures away from lifting the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
This year’s World Cup final will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium, which serves as Russia’s national stadium and located in its capital in Moscow. It is the largest stadium in Russia and one of the largest stadiums in all of Europe, with its total seating capacity of 81,000.
Luzhniki served as one of the primary locations for the 1980 Olympic games – hosting both the opening and closing ceremonies – and also hosted the final. It also served as the location of the UEFA Cup Final in 1999 and the Champions League in 2008 between Chelsea and Manchester United. In addition to hosting the final, it will also host six other World Cup matches.
There are no Russian clubs officially based at the stadium but has been home to the likes of CSKA Moscow, Torpedo Moscow and Spartak Moscow in the past, as well as the main venue for the Russia national football team.
When the Luzhniki Stadium hosted the final game of the 1957 Ice Hockey World Championship between Sweden and the Soviet Union, it was attended by a crowd of 55,000 and set a new world record at the time.
In addition to hosting some of the world’s most major sporting events, Luzhniki Stadium has also entertained music concerts, putting on shows by Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Madonna, Metallica, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson.
The Luzhniki Stadium is a UEFA Category Four Stadium, which is the requisite standard for hosting games in the Champions League, Europa League and European Championship.
It is also a multi-purpose venue, meaning that it can house other sports as well as stage concerts and corporate events.
The stadium underwent major renovation in 2013 when the original venue was demolished to make way for the new stadium. The self-supported cover stayed in place, and the construction of the new venue was completed in 2017. The seating capacity was also raised from 78,000 to 81,000.
FIFA revealed that a total of 1,698,049 tickets were allocated since the start of ticket sales in September 2017, with the last-minute sales phase set to commence on April 18 and ending July 15 – the day of the final. You can read a more in-depth guide into the ticket sales here .
World Cup tickets are sold through FIFA.com’s ticketing service only. FIFA has split up ticket prices for the World Cup into four different categories.
Categories one, two and three will be available to fans across the world through the online ticket sales. Category four is reserved for Russian residents and will consist of at least 350,000 tickets to be sold to local fans.
These tickets will cost less: for comparison, the cheapest category-four ticket is priced at approximately £17, compared to £80 for the cheapest from the other three categories.
Moscow, Russia: The basics
Moscow is the capital city of Russia and its most populous, with 12.5 million residents.
A major cultural, political, economic and scientific hub, it is the largest city entirely on the European continent and is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.
Moscow is also the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth and home to landmarks such as Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe; and the Moscow International Business Center.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral is the most notable focal point of the Russian city, and Moscow is also well-known about their architecture and art.
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