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

Russia vs Croatia Live Score FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming

Croatia provided a dagger to the hearts of Russian Federation with a dramatic penalty shootout win in their quarterfinal in Sochi to bring an end to the hosts' heroic run in their home World Cup.

The win sends the Croatians into a blockbuster semi-final showdown on July 11 against England, which advanced to the final four with an impressive 2-0 victory earlier Saturday over Sweden.

By the time it came to the shootout, both sets of players were exhausted, as Ivan Rakitic struck the victor for Croatia after Russian misses from Fernandes and Fyodor Smolov.

Russia's supporters, low on expectation of what their national team might achieve at their own World Cup, have certainly seen more of it in action than they anticipated.

The Croats hadn't advanced to the semifinals at the World Cup since 1998, when the country made its first appearance.

Croatia takes on England in the other semifinal matchup at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Moscow. Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 and Croatia defeated Denmark 3-2 in the round of 16.

But Brazilian-born right-back Mario Fernandes - only able to play for Russia thanks to a presidential decree from Russian president Valdimir Putin - popped up with a header to turn himself into an unlikely hero and take the tie to penalties.His hero status, however, lasted all of 20 minutes as he missed a decisive penalty in the shootout, allowing Ivan Rakitic to step up and slot home the victor.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russian Federation in front in the 31st minute with a superb strike - his fourth goal of the tournament - but that was cancelled out eight minutes later by Andrej Kramaric's header.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Croatia quickly equalized with a header from Andrej Kramaric in the 39 minute. Ivan Rakitic stroked home the winning penalty to send Croatia into a semi-final against England after Mario Fernandes dramatically equalised for Russian Federation with five minutes of extra time remaining, only to miss a crucial kick in the shootout.

Most certainly a candidate for the best goal of this World Cup.

Croatia's most influential player at the World Cup has been Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.

Cheryshev, back in the starting line-up, cut in from the left, exchanged passes with Artem Dzyuba and skipped away from a Modric challenge before firing home a superb shot from 25 yards.

Cheryshev, who scored three times in the group-stage wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, was back in the line-up here after beginning on the bench against Spain last weekend. With no goal coming, the match went into 30-minute extra time.

During the tie-breaker, Brozovic gave Croatia the lead after Fyodor Smolov had his hot saved by Subasic.

Kramaric had an overhead kick gathered by Akinfeev shortly after the break and Perisic was then inches away from putting Croatia in front as he saw his strike come back off the inside of a post.

Excitement in the stadium, which was full of fans shouting Ra-si-ya, was palpable as the match went to extra-time.

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