Croatia beat Russia on penalties to reach World Cup semi-finals

Ruben Holloway
July 9, 2018

Croatia then went ahead with a soft Domagoj Vida header in the eleventh minute of extra time but Russian Federation still managed to bounce back through Fernandes.

Crotia then went in front with a soft header from substitute Domagoj Vida in the 101st minute, the first goal scored in extra time at the tournament.

Russia's midfielder Aleksandr Erokhin (L) and Croatia's defender Sime Vrsaljko vie for the ball during the World Cup Quarter Final in Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia, July 7, 2018. The other semi-final is Tuesday between France and Belgium in St Petersburg.

With a penalty shootout looming, there was concern for Croatia as Subasic appeared to be struggling with cramp.

Croatia was a ideal three-for-three on their final penalty kicks, and Ivan Rakitic converted the game-winner to advance Croatia.

Meanwhile, Croatia head into the game after beating Denmark 3-2 on penalty shootout on Sunday.

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Modric and Rakitic were decisive in the shootout but didn't play up to expectations in regulation and extra time, unable to create many significant chances for Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic up front.

Neither side could find a breakthrough within 90 minutes, which meant both sides were forced into extra time for the second time in their two knockout games.

The hosts head into the game following a 4-3 penalty-shootout victory over Spain in the round of 16 on Sunday.

But against Croatia their unbelievable run ended at the quarter-final stage despite taking the lead after 30 minutes.

It proved to be a match too far for the Swedes, who advanced further than they ever did with Ibrahimovic - the team's star for more than a decade - by being compact and hard to break down.

Croatia, for whom Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida had earlier found the net, advance to their first World Cup semi-final since 1998.

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After an urgent start from Russia, Croatia had their first chance in the 6th minute but Ante Rebic's free header from a corner just went over the bar.

115 - Goal! Russia 2, Croatia 2.

The second half was more cagey as Croatia tried to probe through Russia's back line, and Kramaric attempted a bicycle kick that was easily gathered by Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

In Samara, England defied nearly three decades of disappointment to move confidently into the last four for the first time since 1990 as headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli downed a dogged Sweden 2-0.

"What a goal by Denis Cheryshev".

That would not be the only goal of the tournament contender from Cheryshev in that match as he got his second and Russia's fourth with a trivela goal Ricardo Quaresma would have been proud of.

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Following a long ball forward, Cheryshev gathered and played a one-two with Artem Dzyuba to get around Luka Modric, then stepped up to launch a shot from 25 yards into the top corner, leaving Croatia keeper Subasic stranded.

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