Lovren’s Croatia set up World Cup semi-final with England

Lynette Rowe
July 9, 2018

"I remember in Moehlin in Switzerland, my home town, we were all insane, we rooted, we wanted to show our Swiss neighbours how powerful a football nation we are", Rakitic, who had dual citizenship but opted to play for Croatia, recalled.

Ivan Rakitic stroked home the winning penalty to send Croatia into a semi-final against England after a night of unremitting tension in Sochi, ending the remarkable campaign of a team ranked 70th in the world. But he saved fantastically the first shot in the shootout.

Croatia will play England in the last four in Moscow on Wednesday, as they aim to outdo the team of 20 years ago. 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.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said Subasic's uncertain health had affected his substitution management going into extra time.

Then in 1990 in Italy they beat Cameroon in extra time to head into another semi-final, this time they faced Germany and lost on penalties, the beginning of their long hoodoo from 12 yards.

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But with five minutes to go before the end of extra time Mario Fernandes scored to force penalties. "And he who does, wins". "We've already accomplished something big, but we want to do more", he told reporters.

France also boasts a slightly better back line, and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris may be a bit easier to trust in a high-stakes match than Subasic.

Croatia captain Luka Modric put in a man-of-the-match performance to lead his side to a penalty shootout victory over hosts Russian Federation, but he has no interest in personal awards as they chase their World Cup dream in a semifinal against England. "It will be an interesting game and we will fight to make the final". I still fancy England because I think they've been the more impressive or dominant team.

"I'm very pleased at how the team played the whole World Cup, how it showed it character and worked to the maximum", said Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

Russia President Vladimir Putin was understood to have watched the match with a Kremlin report later saying he was "proud" of the team. We saw England play today, they're compact and have a few remarkable players, they are strong at set plays. We have to be proud this is an incredible thing.

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