Croatia end Russia’s World Cup dream on penalties

Croatia end Russia’s World Cup dream on penalties

Croatia end Russia’s World Cup dream on penalties

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. "It was a very dignified game", Evgenia, 36, a psychologist, said.

Ivan Rakitic scored the winning penalty as Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 in a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw to end the World Cup hopes of the host nation and advance to a semi-final against England.

Croatia captain Luka Modric believes his side were destined to do it the hard way after beating hosts Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties to book a place in the World Cup semi-finals against England. We could only prove our worth by working hard.

Ivan Rakitic scored the deciding penalty after a 2-2 draw.

Alan Dzagoev sent the ball in to the penalty box to Brazilian-born defender Mario Fernandes, who leaped the highest and headed the ball inside the left upright for the 2-2 equalizer.

"We expect a very hard and tough, tight, demanding match, every match at this World Cup is like that", Modric said at a post-match press conference, broadcast via FIFATV.

After the restart, play resumed much as it had begun in the first half.

Zlatko Dalic's side bossed proceedings, but found themselves trailing to a gem of a strike by Denis Cheryshev after 31 minutes, before Andrej Kramaric brought them back on level terms six minutes to the half-time break. They dominated the match, even if Russian Federation contributed to another fantastic occasion in what has been an outstanding World Cup. Only Harry Kane (6) has more in the tournament.


Mario Mandzukic, who had missed a sitter in the opening minutes of the game, sent a ideal assist from the left for Andrej Kramaric to creep up on two defenders and head home.

Croatian football boss Davor Suker admitted he needed some extra help in the deciding stages of the World Cup quarterfinal against hosts Russian Federation.

"After we went 2-1 ahead, we should have maintained our focus, but there was a lapse of concentration".

Croatia were agonizingly close to taking the lead on the hour when Russia's defence failed to clear the ball and Ivan Perisic's shot hit the inside of the post and rebounded harmlessly across the face of the goal.

However, Croatia took the lead for the first time in the 101st minute, defender Vida getting his head to a corner to send the ball low into the net, helped by substitute Vedran Corluka getting out of the way.

Luca Modric took a corner kick in the 100th minute.

After the majority of them had watched England make their way past Sweden 2-0 in the day's other quarterfinal in Samara, they traipsed to Fisht Olympic Stadium, a beacon of Sochi 2014 legacy situated a pebble-throw from the beach, knowing a date with The Three Lions in Moscow awaited should they win.

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