England face Croatia on Wednesday looking for the win that will take them into their first World Cup final since 1966.

The Three Lions have only ever progressed to the semi-finals* of a major tournament three times previously.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how England got on in those matches.

England 2 Portugal 1 - 1966 World Cup semi-final (Wembley, London)

Portugal went into the clash boasting a 100 per cent record and having scored 14 times in four games, seven of which were notched by talismanic forward Eusebio. However, it was hosts England who would emerge victorious at Wembley thanks to a brace from Bobby Charlton, who struck in the 30th and 80th minutes. Portugal pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, Eusebio inevitably getting on the scoresheet again as he sent Gordon Banks the wrong way, but the Iberian nation could not find an equaliser. The rest, as they say, is history.

West Germany 1 England 1 (West Germany won 4-3 on pens) - 1990 World Cup semi-final (Stadio delle Alpi, Turin)

In what was England's biggest game since winning the trophy against the same opponents 24 years previously, Bobby Robson's men suffered the agony of a penalty shoot-out exit. The match finished 1-1 after extra-time, with Gary Lineker firing home a late leveller after Andreas Brehme's deflected 60th-minute shot had looped over a back-peddling Peter Shilton. In the penalty shoot-out, all of the first six takers scored with their efforts. However, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle then missed either side of Olaf Thon's successful effort as England, for the first time at a major tournament but not the last, tumbled out on spot-kicks.

Germany 1 England 1 (Germany won 6-5 penalties) - 1996 European Championship semi-final (Wembley, London)

A familiar opponent and a familiar outcome for England as they fell short once again. Alan Shearer got the tournament hosts off to a flying start when he headed in the opener after just three minutes, but Stefan Kuntz slid home an equaliser soon after. Neither side could find a winner during regulation or extra-time, meaning a penalty shoot-out was required. After all 10 players scored, it went to sudden death where Gareth Southgate saw his effort saved before Germany captain Andreas Moller smashed the decisive spot-kick into the roof of the net to send his side through the final.

* England also played in the semi-finals of the 1968 European Championships but only four teams qualified for the tournament.


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