Daily Digest: France and Belgium prepare for World Cup semi-final

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Good morning, David Cooper here with everything you need to know in the world of sport.

TOP STORY

Giroud, Griezmann, Hazard, and Lukaku take centre stage in the semi-final.

Giroud, Griezmann, Hazard, and Lukaku take centre stage in the semi-final.

France and Belgium go head-to-head in Saint Petersburg this evening for a place in Sunday’s World Cup final.

The Belgians, often said to currently have a ‘golden generation’ of players, have looked impressive during their run at the tournament, which included a 2-1 victory over Brazil in the last eight.

They have sealed a place in the semis for only the second time, and the first since 1986.

Les Bleus, who won the trophy on home soil 20 years ago, are bidding to get to the showpiece for the first time since 2006.

Head to our dedicated World Cup section for much more on this match, including key tactics, battles and team news.

CRICKET

Rohit Sharma struck his third T20I ton to lead India to a big win.

Rohit Sharma struck his third T20I ton to lead India to a big win.

The three-match T20 series between England and India came to a conclusion at Bristol on Sunday with the visitors sealing a 2-1 series win after thumping the hosts by seven wickets.

It was a series which lived up to its reputation of featuring two of the best white-ball cricket teams in the world at the moment with the pendulum swinging from one side to the other.

With the three-match ODI series getting underway on Thursday, Ashish Peter looks at what the T20s have taught us.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Back in management: Luis Enrique.

Andy West takes a closer look at what we can expect from new Spain boss Luis Enrique as he returns to coaching for the first time since leaving Barcelona in 2016-17.

Read his article, here.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

As ever, we’ve been building up to today’s first semi-final!

#Spurs and the @premierleague are dominating the semi-finals! 👊

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Belgium’s front three are just having fun! 🙌

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Who do you think has been the best player at the #WorldCup so far? 🤔

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

World Cup Semi-Finals: France v Belgium (22:00)

Tennis: Wimbledon, from (13:00)

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Daily Digest: World Cup semi-final match-ups set as England and Croatia win

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Good morning, David Cooper here with everything you need to know in the world of sport.

TOP STORY

Croatia have reached the semi-finals after another nervy win.

Croatia reached the semi-finals after another nervy win.

England will face Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals after Zlatko Dalic’s side beat hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in their last-eight match in Sochi.

Ivan Rakitic converted the decisive spot-kick after Mario Fernandes, who had netted an equaliser for Russia with five minutes of extra-time remaining, hit his effort from 12 yards wide.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russia in front in the 31st minute with a superb strike – his fourth goal of the tournament – but that was cancelled out eight minutes later by Andrej Kramaric’s header.

Croatia, having gone close in the 60th minute when Ivan Perisic hit a post, then had the lead in the 11th minute of extra-time as Domagoj Vida nodded in, before Fernandes brought things level late on once again with a header of his own.

Croatia’s win sees them emulate their 1998 achievement of reaching the World Cup’s last four.

They will now take on England at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday for a place in the final.

Head to our dedicated World Cup section for full analysis from both of yesterday’s matches.

CRICKET

Ben Stokes could feature for England today.

Alex Hales knows he may be about to go from match-winner to instant fall-guy if England bring Ben Stokes back from injury for their Vitality IT20 series decider.

The hosts have Hales to thank that they still have a shot at victory, rather than trying to avoid a whitewash, against India on Sunday in Bristol after his unbeaten 58 levelled the score at 1-1.

Hales held his nerve, and unleashed the power when 12 runs were still needed from the final over, hitting the first ball for six into Cardiff’s River Taff off Bhuvneshwar Kumar as England got home narrowly.

Read more cricket news.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Man at the helm: Gareth Southgate.

Matt Monaghan takes a closer look at England’s impossible World Cup dream and the hope boss Gareth Southgate has given a nation.

Read his piece here.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

As ever, we were across all of Saturday’s pulsating World Cup footy!

Emulating the stars of 1998! Nicely done, Croatia! 👏🇭🇷

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Into a first #WorldCup semi-final since 1990! 👏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

International Cricket: Australia v Pakistan Tri-Series Final, Harare (12:00); England v India Final IT20, Bristol (17:00)

Formula One: British Grand Prix, Silverstone (17:10)

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Daily Digest: Brilliant Belgium defeat Brazil to set-up World Cup semi-final with France

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Good morning, David Cooper here with everything you need to know in the world of sport.

TOP STORY

Belgium celebrate reaching the last four and setting up France clash.

Last night, Belgium produced a stunning performance to claim a place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over five-times champions Brazil in Kazan.

A Fernandinho own goal and fierce strike from Kevin De Bruyne put Roberto Martinez’s side in early control of a compelling encounter.

Brazil responded after the break and pulled one back through substitute Renato Augusto 14 minutes from time but Belgium withstood considerable pressure to hold on, although they were perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty.

Gabriel Jesus looked to have been caught in the box by his Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany but, despite a VAR review, nothing was given.

Thibaut Courtois also made a brilliant fingertip save to keep out a Neymar effort in injury time.

Belgium will now take on France, who overcome Uruguay in the earlier last eight match, on Tuesday in their semi-final.

Head to our dedicated World Cup section for much more and everything you need to know ahead of today’s final two quarter-final clashes.

CRICKET

Cool, calm and collected: Alex Hales.

On Friday night, Alex Hales held his nerve with an unbeaten half-century to ensure England‘s series-levelling five-wicket win over India in Cardiff.

Eoin Morgan’s men needed to restate their white-ball credentials after their chastening defeat three days ago – and they did so effectively to set up a T20 decider in Bristol on Sunday.

Hales (58 not out) hit a straight six off the first ball of the previously miserly Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s final over as England chased down 148 for five with two balls to spare.

Read more cricket analysis.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Neymar couldn't lift Brazil as they crashed out of the World Cup.

Neymar couldn’t lift Brazil as they crashed out of the World Cup.

Sport360’s Andy West analysed the contest between Belgium and Brazil, and brings you his talking points, here.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

As ever, we were across all of Friday’s pulsating World Cup footy!

A show-stopping display from @hazardeden_10! 🙌

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Chose not to join them at @fcbarcelona. Knocked them out of the #WorldCup! 😱

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

World Cup Quarter-Finals: Sweden v England (18:00), Russia v Croatia (22:00)

Tennis: Wimbledon Day 6, from (13:00)

Formula One: British Grand Prix Qualifying at Silverstone

Cycling: Tour de France starts

Lewis Hamilton has an excellent record on home soil.

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