Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up England semi-final

Ross Houston
July 8, 2018

Dalic's Croatia advanced to the final four for the first time since 1998 after winning a penalty shootout 4-3 against hosts Russian Federation in Sochi.

The decisive penalty once again fell to Rakitic, though, and he confidently rolled the ball into the bottom-left corner to keep Croatia's dreams of a first World Cup final alive.

Russia's fairytale run ended as they were beaten on penalties by Croatia after both sides were locked at 2-2 event after the extra time.

England's Harry Kane will face a familiar opponent in the World Cup semi-final when the Three Lions face Croatia.

Croatia's flair for the dramatic suggests another penalty shootout is in store, and the Croatians will make history by winning a third straight.

Abhijit: It might be just a semi-final for Modric and Croatia, but that's pretty big for a small nation with modest resources.

But as in the previous match against Denmark - which Croatia also won on penalties after an insipid 1-1 draw - all too often his team mates failed to do anything with them. Russian Federation has so far played against only one extremely attacking team like Croatia and lost 3:0 to Uruguay.

As far as the game itself, watchers marveled at Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subašić, who suffered an apparent hamstring injury yet kept playing. - Croatia have now had eight different scorers at the 2018 World Cup - only Belgium (nine) have had more.

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", said Modric.

"There are many French people here but I'm very surprised I'm not alone", a French citizen said. We were lucky, thank God.

Meanwhile, Croatia beat Nigeria (2-0), Argentina (3-0) and Iceland (2-1) to win Group D with 9 points. Alan Dzagoev chipped the free kick towards goal and Fernandes was unmarked.

"In the second half and in extra time we dominated, we should have finished the job before penalties", he said, "but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama".

"[Putin] watched, he was rooting for the team. They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Peskov was quoted as saying.

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