Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Croatia beats Russia in shootout, advances to World Cup semifinals

Croatia beats Russia in shootout, advances to World Cup semifinals

The former Leicester City striker's looping cross eventually found its way to Ivan Perišić, who struck the post - with Igor Akinfeev well beaten, as the game eventually went to extra-time.

Croatia continued to dominate possession and Krammaric had the first shot of the second half, acrobatically volleying Vrsaljko's cross straight into the waiting hands of Akinfeev.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov knows that most of the 48,000-strong crowd will be supporting the home side but the moustachioed former goalkeeper has shown little interest in participating in the national outpouring of emotion.

Marcelo Brozović and Alan Dzagoev were next up and were successful, but Mateo Kovačić was second up for the Croats and denied by Akinfeev, who guessed correctly to restore parity.

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Modric said "we will prepare well" for a "a very hard tight and demanding match" and added that it has not gone unnoticed that eight of England's 10 goals in Russian Federation have come from set pieces. In Russia's next two attempts, Sergei Ignasevich and Kuzyayev were successful but as did Vida and Ivan Rakitic to give Croatia a 4-3 triumph.

"We have two matches to play and we are very motivated". This time, they will face a resurgent England side in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on July 12 (Singapore time).

When the last plane takes off with the eventual world champions next week, the Russians will start weaving stories about Stanislav Cherchesov and his band of merry men who rocked the World Cup at home, and shook football's hierarchy.

Croatia also came through the last round on penalties after drawing with Denmark.

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And in the extra session, it looked like Croatia was well on their way to the victory and avoiding penalty kicks.

Then goalkeeper Danijel Subasic pulls his hamstring but Croatia had already used up all three substitutes allowed for normal time. Meanwhile, the Blazers last progressed into the last eight in France 20 years ago when they finished in third.

The only adjustment from the hosts' last-16 clash with Spain sees Denis Cheryshev, scorer of three goals in the tournament, come in for Yuri Zhirkov. This was not a attractive game, it was a fight, a battle for the semifinal.

It was Cheryshev's fourth goal in his five matches of this World Cup.

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In the 11th minute of extra-time Domagoj Vida nodded in, before Fernandes brought things level once again. Stanislav Cherchesov's could nearly snatched the win two minutes to the end but Subasic held on to Zobnin's long-range shot and both countries, who have now played out draws in their four competitive meetings had to find a victor via the penalty shootout.

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