Croatia knock out Russian Federation on penalties

09 July, 2018, 07:06 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Luka Modric Croatia 2018

Although Russia made it further at this year's World Cup than most anyone expected, it was Croatia that advanced to the semifinals with a 4-3 shootout victory Saturday following a 2-2 draw.

Smolov began the shootout by sending a soft shot that Subasic was able to paw down after diving to his right, and Brozovic put Croatia ahead.

The reaction to Vida's goal was nearly one of shock as it crept through the legs of teammate Vedran Corluka and into the bottom corner, with the home crowd left temporarily silent and in disbelief as the goalscorer reeled away and ripped off his shirt in celebration.

England defied nearly three decades of disappointment to move confidently into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990 as headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli downed a dogged but toothless Sweden 2-0. Igor Akinfeev was more than once called into action in the opening moments and each time displayed his class that was so apparent versus Spain to keep Ante Rebic's effort out.

Ilya Kutepov brought down Rebic on the left hand edge of the area but Ivan Rakitic could only steer the ball over from the resulting free kick.

As time ticked away, the side that hammered Argentina 3-0 in the group stage seemed to be running out of ideas, perhaps the biggest compliment to Russia's tactical discipline.

Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (left) and Croatia's forward Ivan Perisic celebrate the equaliser during their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final match against Russian Federation at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7, 2018.

It was a match that, frankly, was pretty boring for the first 30 minutes.

Croatia came within an inch of taking the lead on the hour mark as Akinfeev tried and failed to reach a Mandzukic cross, and the ball fell to Ivan Perisic, who tried to aim a shot inside the post only to see it come off the woodwork and roll through the six-yard box untouched.

The game finished 2-2 after extra-time following a late equaliser by Russia's Mario Fernandes.

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England's youthful team a match against Croatia for a place in the final on July 15.

The teams then traded two scores each before Ivan Rakitic calmly scored the winning penalty.

Russian Federation made their final change in response, bringing on Alan Dzagoev for Aleksandr Golovin, and they almost had a chance when Subasic leapt for and fumbled a cross, but the whistle came to stop play and the goalkeeper again grabbed this thigh in pain.

'We watched the game today and saw how good they are from dead-ball situations, so will have to focus more on defending set-pieces, because we conceded towards the end today from a set-piece and we will have to improve that element of our game'.

From jubilation to sorrow, Fernandes then turned villain after missing the target from the spot, with Fyodor Smolov also kept out in the shootout that was won 4-3 by Croatia.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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