Flashback: Memorable goals in previous World Cup semi-finals

Here we are then, the last few days of the 2022 World Cup. Almost nobody would have expected that Morocco and Croatia would have made the last four, but with their semi-final games against France and Argentina respectively, they have the opportunity to rewrite the history books and create an underdog story that goes beyond the wildest dreams of any of the Argentina vs Croatia betting odds or anyone backing an African nation to reach a first final.

The semi-finals are simply a do or die affair. Having come within touching distance of the final, games are often a cagey affair, with neither time willing to show their teeth in fear of sacrificing all that hard work up until that point. Occasionally though, we see flashes of brilliance and great goals which go on to define their nation’s run.

So, as we approach the penultimate round of the tournament, and with a place in Sunday’s final at the Lusail Stadium up for grabs, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Read on, as we take a look at some of the best goals in recent World Cup semi-finals.

Kieran Trippier – England vs Croatia (2018)

Certainly the best moment in the lives of plenty of England fans, the 2018 World Cup campaign was the best the Three Lions have performed since they lifted the trophy in 1966. After beating Colombia and Sweden in their first two knockout games, Gareth Southgate and co entered their last four encounters with Croatia full of confidence. After a bright start they won a free kick in a dangerous area, brilliantly converted by right-back Kieran Trippier who sent the country into raptures with his sweetly-struck effort. Unfortunately, Croatia turned the game around in extra-time and won 2-1 but that moment serves as a time capsule for one of the best summers in recent years for English football.

André Schurrle – Germany vs Brazil (2014)

The most infamous game in Brazil’s footballing history, many expected them to cruise to the World Cup final on home soil in 2014, but after reaching the semi-finals, they were met with a brutal reality check. The 7-1 demolition job is often remembered for Germany’s frantic first half, where Brazil simply capitulated.

However, many forget the brace score by former Chelsea man André Schurrle. Coming off the bench, the German lashed a powerful strike into the near post, which crashed off the crossbar and past the already-crestfallen Julio Cesar in the Brazil goal. It was the seventh of the game and added insult to injury, with Oscar’s consolation doing little to overshadow the German efficiency on display in the Mineirao stadium.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst – Uruguay vs Netherlands (2010)

Considering the 2010 World Cup is often remembered for Diego Forlan and his iconic relationship with the Jabulani football, his Uruguay team were perilous to stop Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s beautiful strike for the Netherlands in that year’s semi-final

While Hamit Altıntop beat him to the Puskas award, the full-back’s goal was so crisp and powerful, and came at a time when the South Americans had Holland pinned back. It gave them a lead before Forlan equalised before the interval. Later goals from Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben would help book their side’s place in the final, where they were eventually beaten by Spain in Johannesburg.