Friday 06 July 2018, 18:24

The Luzhniki's story so far

And then there were two. The initial 12 venues have been trimmed to a pair of stadiums as the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ reaches a crescendo. The Luzhniki Stadium will host the most decisive of all: the World Cup Final, on 15 July.

One of the spots in that finale will be decided by the next game to be played out in front of just over 78,000 fans, the semi-final between England and Croatia. With this clash on the horizon, we take a look back at the superlative Russia 2018 matches that have taken place at the fabled venue so far.

Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Thursday 14 June

To say the World Cup started with a bang would be something of an understatement. The Luzhniki launched this fantastic tournament into the stratosphere from day one, thanks to a magnificent five-goal haul for the hosts. Iury Gazinsky grabbed the first goal of Russia 2018, before Denis Cheryshev's brace was complemented by goals from Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin.

Germany 0-1 Mexico

Sunday 17 June

A match that made the world sit up and take notice. Germany's title defence was on the backfoot from the off, thanks to Hirving Lozano's well-worked goal. Mexico's ruthless counter-attacking style saw Juan Carlos Osorio create a blueprint for defeating the Germans.

Portugal 1-0 Morocco

Wednesday 20 June

The Luzhniki welcomed Cristiano and Co. to town for the second round of Group B matches. Expectations were high after Portugal's opening 3-3 draw with Spain, but in the end just the one goal - from CR7 himself - was enough to ultimately eliminate the North African side.

Denmark 0-0 France

Tuesday 26 June

This will not be a game that lives long in the memory of those who attended, but it was memorable for both sides, as they got what they both needed. The Danes confirmed their passage to the knockout rounds, while France sealed top spot in Group C thanks to this uneventful goalless draw.

Spain 1-1 Russia (3-4 PSO)

Sunday 1 July

To put it simply: the most memorable day in Russian footballing history. The hosts, cheered on by a quite magnificent and vociferous Luzhniki crowd, equalised after an early set-back before holding firm to take the 2010 World Cup winners all the way to penalties. Igor Akinfeev was the hero, saving first from Koke and then Iago Aspas, to spark a Muscovite roar that reverberated around Russia.