Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Defender Mario Fernandes, who equalized for Russian Federation in the 115th minute with a close-range header, also missed the target.

Subasic's four shootout saves are tied with Harald Schumacher of West Germany and Sergio Goygochea of Argentina for the most in a single World Cup.

The winners of the last quarter-final will go through to a semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday against England, who beat Sweden 2-0 earlier.

The lowest-ranked side entering the competition, the hosts had taken a first-half lead though Denis Cheryshev's blast from distance, only for Croatia to equalise through Andrej Kramaric soon after.

"Putin called me during the day, and he called me right now", Cherchesov said.

Modric said: "Our style was cramped a bit and maybe we did not want to risk with passes, so we had to balance it out in the second half". 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.

Veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich, Vida and Daler Kuzyaev then all scored to make it 3-3, leaving Ivan Rakitic to calmly convert the winning penalty...

Russian Federation meet Croatia on Saturday in the last match to be played in Sochi at this year's World Cup.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Fyodor Smolov saw Russia's first penalty saved by Danijel Subasic and, although home keeper Igor Akinfeev kept out a Mateo Kovacic kick, the hosts' fate was sealed when Fernandes missed. And they had also scored in each of their last eight World Cup Games, a run that stretched all the way back to 2006 and a goalless draw with Japan.

Hosts Russia has been the surprise package of the tournament and endured a real battle against Spain eventually prevailing after penalties. This was not a attractive game, it was a fight, a battle for the semifinal. They should have taken the lead on the hour but Perisic hit the base of the post from six yards out after controlling a poor Akinfeev punch, much to the anguish of his coach, Zlatko Dalic. "We were lucky. I was concentrating throughout the match, but after that penalty it came bursting out of me". Both Luca Modric & Ivan Rakitic didn't see enough of the ball against Denmark, and the Croatia boss may instruct his star midfielders to drop slightly deeper to start to dictate the play. Quickly eyeing the open space on his right, he played a give-and-go with Dzyuba to create space, and then unleased a left-footer to the awe of all who witnessed a classic goal.

Russian Federation have recalled Denis Cheryshev for their World Cup quarter-final clash with Croatia.

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