The world catches the Russian Federation 2018 virus

The world catches the Russian Federation 2018 virus

SOCHI, Russia They've gone 120 minutes twice in a week.

It is only the second time that Croatia have reached the World Cup semi-finals since becoming an independent nation.

"Gareth, good luck. Stick to what you're doing, I'm behind you", he added.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the final set to be played at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

"Of course we wanted to go further", he admitted. "We want to play our best game then".

France and Begium took care of all South American teams, who among them share a combined nine World Cups. Croatia's shooters did enough that Ivan Rakitic's successful penalty was the victor and set off another wild celebration with Subasic on the bottom of the pile. But Croatia is also exhausted. Just before midnight local time, Ivan Rakitic's winning penalty ignited yet another celebration that was a mix of excitement and relief.

Croatia players were less vocal on social media after narrowly progressing to their first semi-final appearance since 1994, but it can not be denied that the players are not motivated for Wednesday evening. At some point, that wave could crash. "But thank God we've shown our character".

'I was concentrated throughout the match, but after Rakitic's penalty the emotion came bursting out of me. "That in future we talk about them", said Blazevic, now 83, and known in Croatia as the "coach of all coaches".

What he did against Russian Federation may be viewed back home as a greater accomplishment.

"The reason I cried was it was the best six weeks I've ever had in my life".

Subasic saved the first attempt of the shootout when he made an adjustment while diving to get a hand on Fyodor Smolov's attempt. Croatia equalized with Andrej Kramaric's header near halftime.

Heading towards Moscow, the two friends both wore "ushanka" hats - the trademark Russian headgear worn in winter with flaps that cover the ears - as a souvenir of a country they said had given them a warm welcome. "It will be hard", defender Dejan Lovren said. We are on the right track to repeat that feat but it is not going to be easy.

This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russian Federation going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run.

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