2018 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
Part 3

It would be on July 6th in which the first Quarter-final would take place between Australia and Wales. Though many expected the Euro 2016 runners-up [1] to give the Socceroo's a battering, what followed would be one of the more craziest games in this World Cup in which just after two minutes, Jedniak scored the opening goal after thanks to some slack defending from the Welsh and the Dragons would end up having to chase the game and would though getting a goal back from Allen just before the break.

If Wales thought in the second half they would get the better of Australia, they were to be in for a shock in which Australia retook the lead in the sixty-eighth minute and looked set to be on course for a shock victory and make it to the last four. But the lead would not last long in which Bale came to the rescue just a few minutes later and thus the game would end up going into extra time.


The Australian team following the goal that puts them up at 2-1 up
It would be during extra time that Wales would be awarded a controversial penalty that despite being given the all clear from VAR, the Australians felt there was a dive involved and it would be from the spot that Bale would step up and score the winning goal to give the winning goal to put Wales into the last four for the first time [2] while the Australians were cursing their luck that their Quarter-Final stigma would remain for now. Question now was how far Wales could go as their supporters celebrated their victory long into the night...

Later on that day would see the meeting of the former World Champions taking on what many claimed to be the team that seemed set to go on and win the World Cup, Belgium. Despite the hype surrounding them, it didn't seem to bother the Belgians as in just over half an hour, the Belgians would roar into a 2-0 lead and never did seem like looking back and it was hard to say if this team was that good or this Spanish team's time was over.

Even in the second half, Spain would struggle to get a foothold into the game and Belgium looked like a side that was hungry to score another goal to really rub it in yet some credit had to be given for them not giving in and even managed to get a goal back to give them hope. Sadly that goal would be nothing more than a consolation as Belgium would be victorious in a 2-1 win and moved onwards to the last four for the first time [3].


Spain vs Belgium in the Knockout stage
Funnily enough it would be the only Quarter-final in that World Cup that would not go into extra time which explained a lot how well organised this Belgium side was and with how easily they had dispatched the Spanish, it showed everyone how serious this side was for going all the way. Question was, could they do it...?

The following day would begin with England taking on Uruguay in which many felt might be quite a tasty encounter though what was served up was a bad tempered and tense game in which neither side seemed more interesting trying not to lose than win. Uruguay weren't helped that some of their players were already on a yellow card and it would be a game best left to be forgotten about. England would get a penalty in the thirty-seventh minute but in a shocking turn of events, Kane would hit the post and the first half would end in a 0-0 draw and that told you what you needed to know how brutal this game was.

The second half was no better as England did look to be the better team trying to score yet Uruguay had resorted into something to akin like Columbia in the last round by kicking lumps out of the players. Nothing happened in the second half other than some yellow cards going up and the match would move into extra-time and it would be then in which from a header from Maguire, the deadlock would finally be broken to give England a scrappy yet justified victory [4].


A defeated Uruguay after their loss to England

England would be unhappy how rough this Uruguay team had been to play against but nonetheless happy that they had moved into the last four and hoped that their World Cup hopes would start to look more promising. Question was now, as with the others who had made it, could they really do it?

As the old saying goes, the best is served for last and it would be in a mouth-watering clash with Brazil and France, both of who were considered strong favourites for the cup and seeing one of them go out would open up the competition. In those ninety minutes audiences everywhere were to be treated to a madcap affair in which Brazil took the lead first, only for France to get back in it from a spot kick. The first half would end 1-1 and the second half, like the first, began with Brazil taking the lead again only for France one again to get a goal back.

The ninety minutes would end 2-2 and it was considered already as the best game in the tournament and extra-time had not been played yet and who knows how well that would end up. That period of play would not have any goals but would be a thrilling goal in the battle of domination and the game would end up going to penalties and it was hard to say who would hold their nerve.

France vs Brazil in their Quarter-final tie

In the end, it would be France that missed two vital kicks while Brazil held their nerve to banish the demons of their humiliating exit to Australia in similar circumstances four years ago [5] and thus Brazil would go through and France were dumped out of the World Cup [6]. Brazil would end up be the sole non-European team left in the tournament and now this was where the real fighting began to see who would win now...

2018 13.png

Final results of the 2018 Quarter-finals

  • [1] Yes, Wales made it to the final ITTL but lose out to France who win Euro 2016 on home soil.
  • [2] ITTL and yet to happen for OTL...yet.
  • [3] They win in the Quarter-final by the same score line as with OTL.
  • [4] England move into the last four with Uruguay going out at this stage both as like OTL.
  • [5] Look back on TTL's 2014 WC.
  • [6] Changed results for Brazil and France in which the former do better than OTL while the latter much worse, no WC win for them here.
There we are then, eight now become four and here is the Semi-Finals as they stand:
Wales vs Belgium

Brazil vs England
Who will win by what score line and why. You know the rules and we are getting near the end of this TL which is something I haven't thought about until now. Still, hope you are all doing well and until then, catch you all later!
Wales 1 Belgium 3 (I assume Wales won this fixture by that scoreline in Euro 2016 like IOTL, so a nice neat reversal)
Brazil 1 England 2
2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
Part 4

In the first Semi-Final of the tournament, it would be an unlikely mismatch in which the highly fancied Belgians would take on a plucky Wales team in what would be a re-match of their Euro 2016 Quarter-Final game in which the Welsh stunned Belgium [1]. Few expected Wales to get this far but many expected Belgium to not only crush the Welsh and get revenge but end up getting into the final for the first time.

From the off, Belgium started off as by far the better team and Wales failed to get a player into the box, let alone try and get a shot on target yet despite all this Belgian pressure, they couldn't find a break through in the first half and it became clear that Wales would have to end up defending. It wouldn't take long into the second half in which Belgium would get their long awaited and much deserved goal that seemed to have them set on course for the final.


Lukaku with the opening goal over Wales
Despite having that lead, Belgium found it difficult to extend their lead and when Wales were awarded a free kick, Bale would fire in a stunner worthy of a Semi-Final to put Wales back into the game from against the run of play with just over ten minutes to go which would end up taking the game to extra time, just what the Welsh wanted. In a classic case of 'parking the bus', Wales would end up sticking back in their own half and rarely troubled the Belgian defence and a rather dreadful period of extra-time ended and it would go to penalties.

In the end, it would be the Belgians that held their nerve and finally put an end to Wales' plucky run and dump them out of the World Cup, a victory that many expected though it was fair to say the Belgians made hard work of it and many across Belgium would celebrate as the nation celebrated for reaching their first ever World Cup final [2]. Surely this would be their year?


Despaired Welsh players after their loss on penalties

The following day would see another British team play in the other Semi-Final in which England would take on Brazil in what many expected would be a tense game in which anything could happen and things would get off to a flyer when England would take the lead from a Trippier freekick [3] and now Brazil found themselves on the backfoot to try and get back into the game.

Things would get worse for what was clearly a ropey Brazil side when Sterling was handed the ball from an assist from Kane to tap it into the net just before the end of the first half to double England's lead [4] and with that it looked as though the Brazilians would have a mountain to climb with England sitting nicely with a 2-0 lead and looking set to meet Belgium in the final.


England after their opening goal
If England did think that Brazil were going to roll over for them then they were to be in for a nasty with just a few minutes into the second half in which some bad English defending saw them switch off and allowed Brazil to score to give themselves the best possible start to make a comeback and that second half would clearly see Brazil become by far the better team and now England had their backs to the wall with another Brazilian goal looking like a sure possibility.

Sadly for Brazil, England held their nerve as Brazil ended up failing to score despite so much pressure on England and thus, England progressed to the final [5] for the first time since the 1990 final [6] and much like in Belgium, there were celebrations across the country. For Brazil, it was a sad end for what they hoped would be another final for them but alas it was not meant to be.


General reaction of how most Brazilians feel after their Semi-Final loss
So now the final would be once again an all European final in which England will take on Belgium to decided who would win the World Cup and achieve eternal glory?

2018 14.png

Final results of the Semi-Finals of the 2018 World Cup

  • [1] As with OTL Euro 2016.
  • [2] ITTL at least.
  • [3] As in OTL.
  • [4] As what almost happened IOTL if Kane simply crossed the ball to Sterling in the game with Croatia.
  • [5] They went out at this stage IOTL.
  • [6] ITTL at least.
So there we are and we are getting near the end for TTL! One more update to go and that'll be that. Hope you have been enjoying this TL, until then, catch you later!
Little bit of an error with the infobox- it's De Bruyne, not Bruyne. Otherwise, sterling work as always! (mind the pun).

3rd: Brazil v. Wales
Final: England v. Belgium
Lets break the pattern somewhat here :p

Wales 0 - 0 Brazil (Wales wins on Penalties)
England 2 - 1 Belgium (After a dramatic 1-0 down at half-time)
2018 FIFA World Cup Third Place Match and Final
Part 5

Prior to the final, as always as what had happened for many years now would be the case of the third place game. Wales would be having to take on Brazil and despite the Welsh starting off quite well, it would be Brazil who would score against the run of play thanks to Paulinho but nonetheless Wales didn't give up and they would quickly get back into the game thanks to a rocket of a shot from Vokes and the game became quite open despite what many will say is quite a pointless game in some ways.

Though the game didn't get much viewing due to how it was seen by many as a dead rubber game, there were some controversy in the game for the Welsh as they claimed that the referee and VAR seemed to have some bias in favour of Brazil which was demonstrated in which Bale would score just before the break yet for some reason the goal was never allowed even though there didn't seem to be any sign of offside anywhere. Whatever the reason, there was an angry scene at the end of the first half in which the Welsh players were arguing with the referee over the goal that never was.


Bale during the game with Brazil

The second half would end up being a nervy game in which neither side being able to able to find an opening goal though the Welsh are still angry about the goal that was disallowed and this would see Brazil slowly get back into the game in which finally would see them find the winning goal from Silva which saw Brazil come out on top and eventually win the tie.

Though they hadn't won the World Cup, this victory was mere consolation for them though Wales would be happy overall of the fact that they had gotten this far and thus there was much to be hoped for what they hoped would be a promising run for Euro 2020. With that game though, it was now time for the main event in Moscow...

2018 15.png

Final result of the Third-Place game at the 2018 World Cup
The following day was time for the final and it was to be the much fancied Belgium team against a young England team. Though it wasn't the fact that this wasn't a bad England team, it was just down to the fact that they were to lock horns with a Belgium team that not only was packed with some fine talent but where a team that many expected to win with many claiming them to be their 'golden generation' and perhaps had the weight of the world on their shoulders with every neutral fan in the world watching.

To what everyone expected, Belgium pretty much dominated the game right from the get go with them going ahead just before the half hour mark. After that goal, many expected to see Belgium score again and put themselves way out of sight of England yet this was when things began to change in which for some reason they couldn't seem to score and that would be how things ended at half time with England sniffing that they had a chance...


Belgium vs England in the final
The second would see the Belgians start off well as before yet there was more determination from England this time and the Belgian's failure of not scoring again would come back to haunt them as England scored in the fifty-seventh minute which while not against the run of play was indeed something no one expected and that was how after ninety minutes how the score would end with neither finding a winner and Belgium had only themselves to blame for letting the game slip like this [1].

Extra-time would come and go and yet nothing could separate the two as both seemed to cancel each other out though Belgium did look somewhat more better. With that it would come down to penalties and it would be a nerve shredder in which it would be a shock result and something of an upset as England held their nerve to beat Belgium 5-4 on spot kicks and England would become the unlikely world champions of 2018 [2].


The victorious England team of 2018 in Moscow

Belgium's defeat was greeted with many feeling gutted (other than those in the Netherlands for good reason) that the favourites had failed to win the cup but many would point out that their failure to add to their lead during the first half when they were by far the better team was ultimately their downfall and the age old rule of never holding onto a 1-0 lead in an important game for large parts of the game came to bite them in the backside.

Reaction in England was one of joy and disbelieve (not so in Scotland, Wales and across Ireland that is) that they hadn't expected to achieve this victory and now they pinned their hopes on getting more glory at Euro 2020. With all this though, another World Cup was over and in 2022, the World Cup would return to Africa with the hosts being Morocco [3] with plans to expand it to having 48 teams and thus, make it into even more of a true World Cup....[4]

2018 16.png

Final result of the 2018 World Cup Final

2018 12.png
Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 2018 World Cup
  • [1] If this sounds familiar then yes, it does go along like OTL Euro 2020 final, though the other way round...
  • [2] Before anyone says anything, I had this outcome planned months ago and has nothing to do how England did in the recent final though there are similar vibes here. One thing that is simialr is the Belgium's 'golden generation' fails to deliver here like OTL.
  • [3] No Qatar here, Morocco will host it for 2022.
  • [4] Rather fitting note to end on if you ask me.
So there we are then, the final update (for now that is) for this TL. I want to thank you all who have followed this TL from the start as I didn't know if an expanded 1996 WC would be of interest but is has been good to see many take a liking to it and to wrap it all up, here is the summery of all WC finals ITTL:
WC Finals.png

So before we go, what was your favourite tournament here and why? Plus I have plans for another football TL to work on that while not be original will be one though that I hope can be finished unlike some certain others that couldn't finish this particular subject. Anyway until then, take care and I hope to see you all soon and this song fits the ending me thinks! :)

The End (for now!)

Going to miss this TL. It’s probably (if not the best) one of the best sports threads I’ve seen on this website. I’ll be sure to read whatever you write next!
Going to miss this TL. It’s probably (if not the best) one of the best sports threads I’ve seen on this website. I’ll be sure to read whatever you write next!
Thank you, be sure to check out my 'All To Play For' Redux TL on here! :) Plus, what was your favourite WC ITTL here? :)