What happened overnight?

And then there were four.

England reached the World Cup semi-finals for just the third time ever (and the first since 1990), beating Sweden 2-0.

They'll meet Croatia for a place in the final; they beat Russia 4-3 on penalties after their pulsating clash was level 1-1 at full-time and 2-2 after extra-time.

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Heroes
For the second game running, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was a key man in his side's successful progress.

After his penalty shoot-out heroics against Colombia, the Everton stopper denied Sweden time and again, pulling off a series of stunning, one-handed saves to keep his first clean sheet of the tournament.

In front of him, Harry Maguire put in the sort of lion-hearted performance that has England fans singing his name, the imposing central defender keeping Sweden at bay while also netting his first England goal, powering home a header to open the scoring.

Having scored twice in the first match of the tournament, Russia's Denis Cheryshev opened the scoring against Croatia today with a simply brilliant strike, planting a left-footed tracer bullet into the top corner.

Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who saved three penalties in his side's shootout win over Denmark in the round-of-16, put in another immense display, which was even more remarkable given he played the last 35 minutes of the game on one leg, appearing to pull his hamstring late in regulation time.

Russia national soccer team players leaves the pitch after losing the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia. Photo / AP
Russia national soccer team players leaves the pitch after losing the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia. Photo / AP

Villain

Russia's Brazilian born defender Mário Fernandes went from hero to zero, rising to head home an extra-time equaliser which sent the game to penalties, before dragging his effort wide during the shootout.

And Domagoj Vida may have scored Croatia's second goal and converted his penalty in the shoot-out, but there's no excuse for a haircut like that. Sort yourself out, mate.

Stat chat
England have lost just one of the 23 World Cup games which they've led at half-time, with that sole defeat coming in the 1970 quarter-final against West Germany.

Eight of England's 10 goals at Russia 2018 have come from set pieces, the most by any nation at a World Cup since Portugal also scored eight in 1966.

England's Harry Kane walks past Sweden's players at the end of the match after his team beat Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinal match between Sweden and England. Photo / AP
England's Harry Kane walks past Sweden's players at the end of the match after his team beat Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinal match between Sweden and England. Photo / AP

At 22 years and 87 days, Dele Alli became the second youngest player to score for England at the World Cup, behind only Michael Owen.

Croatia vs. Russia was the first ever World Cup match to go to a penalty shootout in which each team had advanced from the previous round on penalties.

Croatia became just the second side to win consecutive World Cup shootouts, joining Argentina in 1990.

Russia's opening goal came from their first shot on target in open play since the 11th minute of their final pool match.

Andrej Kramaric became the seventh different player to score for Croatia at this World Cup; only Belgium (9) have had more different goalscorers.

They said what?
Gareth Southgate, England coach: "It would fairly easily be (my) best day in coaching. I go back to the fact that it isn't about me. It's about the whole group. To be in charge of a group of people who give as much energy and give me as much as they have over this period of time is very special."

Torbjörn Sohlström, Swedish ambassador to the UK: "Congratulations England. You had the stronger team today, and a great goalkeeper. When I have digested the result, I will support Three Lions."

Did you know?
England goalscorer Harry Maguire played football, rugby, hockey and ran representative cross-country as a schoolboy. He travelled to Euro 2016 as an England fan.

What's next?
The semi-final lineup is confirmed.

France will meet Belgium in St. Petersburg on Wednesday at 6am (NZT).

England will face Croatia in Moscow at 6am on Thursday.