FIFA World Cup

Argentina fans dance, cry and cheer in streets as World Cup winners return

The team arrived in the early hours at Ezeiza city airport, where despite it being around 3am local time (7pm Tuesday NZ time) thousands were waiting with banners, flags and flares, and howling in joy at the victory, which came 36 years after the country's last World Cup victory.

By around midday in Argentina hundreds of thousands had congregated in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads shut down for the parade. People held up banners of Messi and late icon Diego Maradona, played instruments or climbed lampposts or bus stops.

Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties to win World Cup

Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman's penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide to give Argentina their first world title since 1986, and third overall.

France had come from two goals down to level over 90 minutes with Kylian Mbappe netting twice in two minutes, including an 80th-minute penalty.

The France striker completed his hat-trick in the 118th with another spot-kick after Argentina's Lionel Messi had tapped in for a 3-2 lead in the 109th.

France end Morocco's run to set up Argentina showdown

Reuters reports Theo Hernandez scored in the fifth minute in a perfect start for the holders, who would have been looking for an early strike to silence the rowdy Moroccan support at the Al Bayt Stadium and dent the confidence of their team.

But it still proved a close-run clash as Morocco overcame injury blows and showed no deference to France's reputation, taking the game to them in a gallant effort that added to the glowing reputation they have earned at the tournament.

Argentina thrash Croatia to secure final spot

The resounding win over Croatia secured Argentina a spot in the World Cup final for the second time in eight years, after they fell short against Germany at Brazil 2014.

Croatia made an impressive start to the game, defending well and attacking with energy and poise.

However, towards the end of the first half Argentina opened the scoring in the 34th minute through a penalty from Lionel Messi.

Argentina trust their system against Croatia

Croatia were not the favourites to reach the last four again but they came through two penalty shootouts in a repeat of their 2018 exploits.

"They have troubled many national teams. I won't mention the key players or their strengths and weaknesses but we've analysed where we can hurt them. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't," coach Lionel Scaloni said on the eve of the first semi-final.

England knocked out by France

In a historic occasion the two nations kicked off against each other in a World Cup match for the first time in forty years, with their last meeting coming at Spain 1982.

Early in the first half, France opened the scoring through a spectacular long shot from Aurelien Tchouameni in the 17th minute.

France winger Ousmane Dembele received the ball from Kylian Mbappe before laying it off deep to the Tchouameni who smashed long shot into the bottom left corner past Jordan Pickford.

Morocco beat Portugal to go through to semi-final

Youssef En-Nesyri leapt high in the air to head home the game's only goal just before half-time at the Al-Thumama Stadium to strike a significant blow against football's established order and book a semi-final against either England or France, who meet later today.

Reuters reports the result will be widely celebrated across Africa and the Arabic-speaking Middle East, desperate to see one of their teams in contention for the biggest prize in football.

Argentina beat Netherlands in penalty shoot-out to advance to semifinals

The first half of the long and fiery match proved to be a tight affair with plenty of tension on the pitch and the sidelines.

After an evenly poised start to the match it took a bit of magic from Lionel Messi to unlock the game, with the Argentina playmaker threading a perfectly placed pass in between the Dutch defense for Nahuel Molina to run on to.

Reuters reports the full-back took one well-controlled touch to take it into the box before coolly placing his shot past the Netherlands keeper to score the opening goal in the 35th minute.

Brazil dominate South Korea to secure quarterfinal spot

Brazil dominated the first-half of this morning's fixture at the Stadium 974 - Ras Abu Aboud in Doha.

A quickfire goal from Vinicius Jr in the seventh minute opened the scoring after Raphinha sent a low cross to the wide open Real Madrid winger who cooly curled it across goal to score.

Shortly after, Neymar converted a penalty to make it two after Richarlison was dubiously awarded a foul for minimal contact with the leg of a Japan defender.

29 World Cup games to be played in New Zealand

Each country gets an equal share of group matches with four groups based on each side of the Tasman for the opening stages of the 32-team tournament.

This will be the first time the base camp model with be used in a Fifa Women's World Cup.

It is also the first time the tournament has been co-hosted by two countries and two confederations.

Auckland and Wellington are the big winners in New Zealand - while Sydney will be the focal point in Australia with 11 matches including the final on 20 August.