World Cup Quarter-Final match report Russian Federation v Croatia 07 July 2018

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Croatia's win sees them emulate their 1998 side by reaching the World Cup's last four, and on Wednesday will face England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the final.

Croatia beat hosts Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties after the teams were level at 2-2 following extra time in their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday and will meet England in the semi-finals.

After a tense first half hour, Denis Cheryshev gave Russian Federation the lead with an unstoppable long-range effort.

Croatia only needed nine minutes to reply when Kramaric headed home after Mandzukic broke down the left and found him perfectly. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

Fernandes then went from hero to villain, the scorer of the equalizing extra-time goal dragging his penalty kick woefully wide, handing Croatia the advantage.

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The decisive penalty once again fell to Rakitic, though, and he confidently rolled the ball into the bottom-left corner to keep Croatia's dreams of a first World Cup final alive.

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

His shoot-out miss proved pivotal, however, especially after Smolov's weak attempt at a chipped penalty was saved by Subasic. Akinfeev denied Mateo Kovacic and nearly kept out Luka Modric's effort from 12 yards out, but Rakitic converted the decisive effort to seal a 4-3 win in the shootout.

Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the field entering the World Cup, held Croatia to a single goal in regulation, then responded to a crushing Domagoj Vida goal in the 101st minute with an equalizer in the 115th. But Croatia made it 1-1 just eight minutes later thanks to a headed goal from striker Andrej Kramaric.

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

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Having knocked out Spain on penalties in the previous round, Russia, 70th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, again defied the odds to take 20th ranked Croatia to a shootout with a 2-2 draw after extra time but on this occasion their marksmanship deserted them.

Croatia is the first team to win consecutive penalty shootouts since Argentina in 1990 and it's the first time the host country has lost in a shootout since Italy in the same year.

"I don't cry often, but now I have good cause", said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic.

Captain Luka Modric is expected to partner Ivan Rakitic in the midfield, while Mandzukic will lead the attack line.

Cheryshev scored twice in Russia's 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the tournament's opening game, and was also on target as they defeated Egypt 3-1 in their second group outing. Russia's Denis Cheryshev started the scoring in the second match of the day with a goal that is a shoo-in for any list of great World Cup knockout goals.

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