Monday, 22 October, 2018

Russian Federation 2 Croatia 2 (aet, 3-4 on penalties)

Croatia Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three penalties as Croatia beat Denmark in a shootout in the round of 16
Shannon Reynolds | 08 July, 2018, 05:13

It was third-time lucky for Croatia against a World Cup host team - after defeats to France in the 1998 semis and Brazil in the 2014 tournament opener - thanks to an improved showing after the break when Russia's energy faded in front of 44,287 at Sochi's Fisht Stadium.

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russian Federation, who had equalised late in extra time.

The game went to extra-time with Subasic staying on the pitch despite appearing to injure his hamstring late on in normal time. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

After an urgent start from Russia, Croatia had their first chance in the 6th minute but Ante Rebic's free header from a corner just went over the bar.

But against Croatia their unbelievable run ended at the quarter-final stage despite taking the lead after 30 minutes. Mario Fernandes (Russia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Russia's success will depend on how they manage to rein in the likes of Modric and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, and then hit on the counter as they have done with such surprising success at the tournament.

However, it was not to be for the resilient hosts, with goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saving Fedor Smolov's penalty and Fernandes firing wide before Rakitic kept his composure to put Croatia one match away from the final.

England defied nearly three decades of disappointment to move confidently into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990 as headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli downed a dogged but toothless Sweden 2-0.

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The University of Leeds Physics and Astronomy research student said: "We're a small country and it was nice to get as far as we did".

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The reaction to Vida's goal was nearly one of shock as it crept through the legs of teammate Vedran Corluka and into the bottom corner, with the home crowd left temporarily silent and in disbelief as the goalscorer reeled away and ripped off his shirt in celebration.

Centre-backs then were successful in the fourth round, Vida answering after Russia's Sergei Ignashevich found the net, and though Daler Kuzyaev kept Russian Federation alive, Rakitic - who also won the shootout against Denmark in the last round - put Croatia through. Croatia equalized with Andrej Kramaric's header near halftime.

That was England's eighth set-piece goal at this World Cup, but, while they are lethal from dead balls, apart from Kane they are not blessed with too many other sharp shooters.

"This World Cup has been organized in the best possible way".

The kick off time for the match is 7pm.

Kramaric threatened again seven minutes into the second half, although his overhead-kick was comfortably claimed by Akinfeev, who saw Ivan Strinic fire well over the crossbar from 22 yards out on the left in the 58th minute, before the woodwork came to Russia's rescue two minutes later.

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