Croatia beats Russian Federation in shootout, advances to World Cup semifinals

09 July, 2018, 07:05 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Dejan Lovren- Dejan Lovren confident Croatia can beat Russia in quarter-final and eclipse 1998 heroes by winning World Cup title

Danijel Subasic was the hero once again as Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup where they will face England.

Tied after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time, and Croatia took a big step towards sealing victory after defender Domagoj Vida headed his team 2-1 up from a corner kick.

The hosts had taken the lead when Denis Cheryshev fired a thunderbolt past Danijel Subasic in the first half to net hid fourth goal of the tournament.

Domagoj Vida directed a header through traffic in the 101st minute to put Croatia ahead, but though Fernandes delivered an answer five minutes from time to force the shootout, his miss from the spot ended Russia's hopes. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers. Ivan Rakitic scored the winning penalty as Croatia returns to the semifinals for the first time since 1998. That all changed in spectacular style as Cheryshev won the ball in midfield, exchanged a one-two pass with striker Ayrtom Dyzuba before swerving a rocket that dipped into the top corner of the Croatia goal to open the scoring.

It defeated Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals and Italy in the semifinals that year, which also made Italy the last host nation to lose on penalties before Saturday.

"After the game, Putin phoned him again and noted the team's worthy performance at the World Cup, as well as Russia's attractive and determined game in the historic match against Croatia".

Kramaric threatened again seven minutes into the second half, although his overhead-kick was comfortably claimed by Akinfeev, who saw Ivan Strinic fire well over the crossbar from 22 yards out on the left in the 58th minute, before the woodwork came to Russia's rescue two minutes later.

Russia's Denis Cheryshev started the scoring in the second match of the day with a goal that is a shoo-in for any list of great World Cup knockout goals.

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- Russian Federation are the first host country to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup since Mexico in 1986.

Croatia will now face England in the last four for a place in the final.

'At certain moments we lacked power, but we have played two matches of 120 minutes of football in six days, and of course this will leave a mark on you and you have to pay the toll for such exertions.

Worked well with Vida to slow down the tempo and maintain procession for Croatia.

For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic had his penalty saved, but Marcelo Brozovic, Modric and Vida all netted theirs before Rakitic stroked in the victor.

But he kept going and pulled off a series of saves in extra-time before reading Fyodor Smolov's intention of a cheeky Panenka penalty in the shoot-out.

115 - Goal! Russia 2, Croatia 2.

But the hosts were again on the back foot when Fernandes sent his attempt wide of the post, and though Akinfeev pushed Modric's shot onto the post, it fell just over the line to put Croatia back in front.

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