By Colin Brock

The United States is not playing in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Soccer fans around the country are disappointed,, expecting more from the stars and stripes. Viewership of the World Cup in the U.S. has not dropped significantly. The passion for soccer in the U.S. outshines the performance of the national team.

France defeated Belgium by a score of 1-0. Scoreless at the break, the game appeared to be up for grabs. After a series of Mbappé slashes, Samuel Umtiti put Les Bleus ahead for good. In the semifinal matchup between Croatia and England, each side hopes to claim its first World Cup in a long time. Led by Tottenham standout Harry Kane, England has a competitive line up with its best English Premier League players. Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford are exemplary strikers and have made Kane’s World Cup easier.

Croatia is bursting with great players from around Europe and is led by midfielder Luka Modrić
of Real Madrid. Mario Mandžukić and Ivan Rakitić have been other standouts for Croatia and have played extraordinarily well off of Modrić. Ante Rebic has become a household name for Croatian fans, adding a goal.

The winner of this second semifinal faces off against a dangerous French team that features a lethal attack led by 19-year-old prodigy Kylian Mbappé and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann. With a plethora of eventful matches and extra time thrillers, the 2018 FIFA World Cup has lived up to the hype. The third-place game between Belgium and the loser of Croatia-England takes place on Saturday at 10 a.m.followed by the championship game 11 a.m. Sunday.

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