#WC2018: Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up semi against England

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Croatia will play England in the last four in Moscow on Wednesday, as they aim to outdo the team of 20 years ago.

France and Belgium beat Uruguay and Brazil, respectively, in the quarterfinals Friday, while England and Croatia both advanced Saturday.

England have eliminated Colombia and Sweden, while Croatia, so impressive having won their group with three victories, have been taken to penalties by Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout rounds.

It took just over a half an hour for the host-nation to open up the scoring against their World Cup quarter-final opponents Croatia and boy was it an absolute beauty.

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They have scored 14 goals in five World Cup matches in Russian Federation, while topping a group featuring fellow semifinalists England and knocking favourites Brazil out in the quarterfinals.

With five wins in five matches, Belgium has been flawless at the 2018 World Cup so far.

It went blow-for-blow with Argentina in a 4-3 win to kick off the knockout stage before impressively handling red-hot Uruguay 2-0 in the quarterfinals. First one forward and defending.

Ivan Perišić for Croatia had a near miss with 30 minutes to go with many celebrating before watching the ball rebound across the face of the goal. "It's our second time in the semi-finals, after 1998, and it makes us extremely proud and happy". "But I think we have such fantastic players, very experienced and we showed it in the penalties that we have the players who are playing in the best teams in the world".

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After Fernandes' failure, Modric got lucky when his strike found the opposite side of the net to that following touches off Akinfeev's glove and the post.

That suggests it has had difficulty putting away its opponents, but it also means it is excelling during the biggest moments.

After 10 years of Real's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi dominating the Ballon d'Or, there has been talk that leading his country to World Cup glory could see Modric break the pair's stranglehold on the award for the world's best player.

The game went to penalty kicks - where Russia's penalty takers made one too many mistakes from the spot. Croatia can build a game, can play on a counter, crossing, and can score even outside of the box.

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