Croatia beats Russian Federation in shootout to reach semis

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This time, they will face a resurgent England side in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on July 12 (Singapore time).

Croatia are now also the first team to enter the last four stage of a World Cup after surviving two penalty shootouts. Both teams are coming into the World Cup with thrilling victories in the quarter finals against Spain and Denmark respectively.

Ivan Perisic hit the post for Croatia in a second half they controlled but they had to wait until the 101st minute to go in front, defender Vida heading in a corner before removing his shirt as he ran away in celebration.

Croatia took the lead through Domagoj Vida in the first period of extra time but Russian Federation equalised in the second period through Mario Fernandes.

However, at the other end of the field will stand an equally hard opposition for the Russian offence to break down in Danijel Subašić, who himself saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark - a performance that puts him level with Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo in terms of penalties saved in a World Cup shootout.

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Croatia were on a four-match unbeaten run going into the game - their longest run to date in the competition.

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.

Domagoj Vida made it 2-1 for Croatia 10 minutes into the second stanza with a fine header that sailed into the bottom corner.

It would take just eight minutes for Croatia to level the scores, with Mario Mandzukic setting up former Leicester City attacker Andrej Kramaric, who headed home.

The teams then went back and forth in regulation, and neither could find the victor, sending the game into extra time.

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Russian Federation slowly grew with the game and took the lead out of nowhere, thanks to Cheryshev, who kocked down an aerial ball before playing one-two with Artem Dzyuba down the inside-left channel. He said what we showed on the field was great.

Modric got a 2-1 advantage for Croatia.

The Villarreal man wrapped his foot around the ball from 25 yards before sending a curling effort past Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

The Blazers had the first sniff at goal after seven minutes when Ante Rebic headed over after meeting Dejan Lovren's header back into the danger area.

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. It became 1-1 when Alan Dzagoev scored and Mateo Kovacic flopped.

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"We have two matches to play, we are very motivated, we will give our all".

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