England is again out to conquer the world.
The English soccer team will play Saturday in an attempt to advance to the semifinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990. On Tuesday, Eric Dier’s penalty kick sealed England’s victory over Colombia and filled the team—and English fans—with frenzied hope.
Actor Kieran Brown complained that audience members at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham, England, during a performance of Titanic the Musical were watching the World Cup on their phones instead of the play. One Englishman planned his wedding for Saturday—at the same time that England plays its next match against Sweden. The groom complained on Twitter that friends are demanding he bring 60-inch televisions to the reception, and his best man threatened to “pull a sickie,” according to the BBC.
Despite England’s love for soccer, the men’s national team has not won a World Cup since 1966. Since then, they’ve lost in the semifinals once and in the quarterfinals five times. Tuesday’s game was the first time they’d won a penalty shootout in the World Cup.
More than a billion people watched the last World Cup final match in 2014, when Germany defeated Argentina by one goal. Commentators and fans speculate over whether England will be able to win this year.
The teams “with togetherness and belief … go on and achieve things at a tournament like this,” writes BBC sports columnist Alan Shearer. “And England have definitely shown their mettle there.”
England’s quarterfinals game against Sweden will air Saturday at 10 a.m. EDT. In the first two quarterfinals matches played on Friday, France defeated Uruguay and Belgium downed Brazil. Russia, the World Cup’s host country, faces Croatia Saturday in the last quarterfinal match of the weekend. France will take on Belgium in the semifinals on Tuesday, while Saturday’s quarterfinal winners will square off on Wednesday. The winners of those two matches will play in the World Cup finals next Sunday. —Charissa Crotts