Russian Federation v Croatia World Cup quarter-final goes to extra

Lynette Rowe
July 9, 2018

The opening penalty from Fedor Smolov was poor and easily saved by Subasic, while Fernandes drilled his spot-kick just wide of the left post.

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.

Cheryshev exploited it in a way the likes of Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane could come Wednesday, launching a long-range effort which had Danijel Subasic helpless in the Croatia goal.

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

Akinfeev was helpless as Vida's header sneaked through a body of players into the bottom-right corner of the net from a corner on the right.

Luka Modric is the team's star but it is goalkeeper Subasic who got them past the finishing line against Russian Federation.

That would not be the only goal of the tournament contender from Cheryshev in that match as he got his second and Russia's fourth with a trivela goal Ricardo Quaresma would have been proud of.

Croatia only needed nine minutes to reply when Kramaric headed home after Mandzukic broke down the left and found him perfectly. Denis Cheryshev (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

The Villarreal man exchanged passes with Artem Dzyuba and sent a powerful curler flying past Danijel Subasic, who could only watch as a goal-of-the-tournament contender struck the back of the net.

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Russia & Croatia face off in Sochi with a place in the final four on the line.

However, the 90 minutes would produce no more goals, with the game forced into extra-time. Igor Akinfeev later blocked an attempt from Mateo Kovacic.

After hardly seeing the ball in the round of sixteen, Stanislav Cherchesov's side will be looking to play a slightly more expansive game at the Fischt stadium and will be cheered on by an expectant home crowd.

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.

Croatia also came through the last round on penalties after drawing with Denmark.

Russian Federation have been the surprise package of the 2018 World Cup and their opening goal against Croatia was no exception.

Dalić may consider tweaking his side slightly for the game against the host nation.

Ilya Kutepov brought down Rebic on the left hand edge of the area but Ivan Rakitic could only steer the ball over from the resulting free kick. "But now we are collecting those debts in this World Cup".

Hosts Russia or Croatia, who meet later on Saturday and are lower ranked than Southgate's side, are all that stands between England and a first World Cup final since they won the tournament on home soil in 1966.

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