Sunday 08 July 2018, 06:00

Saint Petersburg's story so far

As 12 stadiums has slimmed down to its final two, even though the most important action is still to come, the Saint Petersburg Stadium has already enjoyed its fair share of excitement and drama.

With France and Belgium the next pair of sides to step out at the 64,000-seater arena, we take a look back on what pieces of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ history have unfolded on its pitch so far.

Morocco 0-1 IR Iran

Friday 15 June

The trend for late goals, started a couple of hours earlier in Ekaterinburg, continued in gut-wrenching style for the North Africans, who had impressed early on. Morocco's reunion with the World Cup after 20 years apart was soured when substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz began another Russia 2018 trend – by netting an own goal.

Russia 3-1 Egypt

Tuesday 19 June

Coming into the game, there were a few questions to answer: would Russia come crashing down after the heady high of the Opening Match? Could Mohamed Salah’s return get Egypt back on track? Unfortunately for the Pharaohs, no proved to be the answer to both, as Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba delighted the packed and partisan crowd.

Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica

Friday 22 June

Having shone, then stuttered and stumbled in their opener, Brazil had something to prove against Costa Rica. Frustratingly for the Seleção and its fans, they did not find the sparkling response they were looking for against a resolute Ticos side. Instead, they had to rely on Philippe Coutinho and Neymar for a stoppage-time rescue.

Nigeria 1-2 Argentina

Tuesday 26 June

As was the case four years ago, the Super Eagles and La Albiceleste served up an entertaining encounter. With Argentina needing a victory, a nervous crowd – dominated by South Americans – were treated to a touch of Lionel Messi magic, before Marcos Rojo earned a dramatic win to send them into the last 16 at Nigeria’s expense.

Sweden 1-0 Switzerland

Tuesday 3 July

It was the chance for both to make history. The Swiss hadn’t been to a quarter-final since 1954, while it was almost a quarter of a century since Sweden had managed it. Neither gave an inch as they sparred for a spot in the last eight, so much so that all that could separate them was Emil Forsberg’s strike, aided by a major deflection.

Sweden v Switzerland: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia