Croatia beats Russian Federation on penalties

Fifa World Cup Despite Spain upset Russia may find Croatia’s midfield too hot to handle

Fifa World Cup Despite Spain upset Russia may find Croatia’s midfield too hot to handle

Russian Federation took the lead in the 31st minute when Croatia failed to close to Cheryshev and the Villarreal midfielder fired a rocket from 20 yards out past the stranded Subasic.

Ten minutes into the first period the Croatians went in front when Domagoj Vida headed home from a corner by Luka Modrić, who was making his 10th appearance at the World Cup and in doing so, became his country's second-highest-capped player at the tournament behind Dario Šimić.

Croatia will now face England on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final but first, here are five things we learned.

Russia's midfielder Aleksandr Erokhin (L) and Croatia's defender Sime Vrsaljko vie for the ball during the World Cup Quarter Final in Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia, July 7, 2018.

Having knocked out Spain on penalties in the previous round, Russia, 70th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, again defied the odds to take 20th ranked Croatia to a shootout with a 2-2 draw after extra time but on this occasion their marksmanship deserted them. Sadness because losing to Croatia on penalty kicks after fighting for 120 minutes to a 2-2 draw means Russia's World Cup is over. 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.

However, Russia dug deep to make it 2-2, substitute Alan Dzagoev curling in a free-kick for Fernandes to head home in the 115th minute. And they indeed showed a lot of patience, throughout the match against a gutsy Russian Federation, who kept coming back at them, even though the Croats were favourites on paper.

An equalizer came eight minutes later when Kutepov was perhaps guilty of not dealing with a through ball which allowed Mandzukic acres of space on the left hand side of the box. Croatian players at a unsafe distance close to the gate and tried to score, but the Russian bratati confidently hit the ball.

It was a match that, frankly, was pretty boring for the first 30 minutes. Only Harry Kane with six has more, but none so spectacular. Cherchesov will have to do without experienced wing-back Yuri Zhirkov who is unavailable for the game against Croatia.

Next will be England, who reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years with a 2-0 victory over Sweden earlier on Saturday.

"What a goal by Denis Cheryshev". They dominated the match, even if Russian Federation contributed to another fantastic occasion in what has been an outstanding World Cup.

In one of Croatia's offensive forays, Russian Federation dodged a major bullet when a shot by Ivan Perisic from near the penalty spot clanked off the left upright and rolled in front of the goal mouth and out of play.

The phrase "goal of the tournament" has been spewed out on a number of occasions, but it is fair to chuck Cheryshev's latest explosive effort in the mix. The man blessed with a magical left-foot and movie-star good looks exchanged passes with Artem Dzyba, another popular player in the team, before sending the ball screaming into the net.

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