World Cup Quarter-Final match report Russian Federation v Croatia 07 July 2018

Lynette Rowe
July 11, 2018

Stanislav Cherchesov's could nearly snatched the win two minutes to the end but Subasic held on to Zobnin's long-range shot and both countries, who have now played out draws in their four competitive meetings had to find a victor via the penalty shootout.

While England ran away to a fairly straightforward 2-0 win, Croatia had to deal with an astonishingly resilient Russian team who kept pegging them back every time it looked like the Croatia were pulling ahead.

But it remains to be seen how quickly the team - with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic watching from the stands - can recover from their efforts, having also been taken to extra-time and penalties by Denmark in the last round. Assisted by Luka Modric with a cross following a corner.

Croatia and Russian Federation have only faced three times to date, with a pair of 0-0 draws during Euro 2008 qualifying and a 3-1 Croatia win in November 2015 giving Vatreni a slim advantage in the history between the two. Croatia equalized with Andrej Kramaric's header near halftime.

Denis Cheryshev's swerving left-footer from the edge of the box had opened the scoring for Russian Federation in the 31st minute of normal time but an unmarked Andrej Kramaric headed in a cross from Mario Mandzukic eight minutes later to restore parity. The Villareal midfielder evaded Modric's challenge and struck a swerving shot from 30 yards which 'keeper, Subasic watched all the way into the top corner from Russia's first shot of the match. Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the center where unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header. The hosts are on cloud nine and would love to continue their form against the Croatians.

100 - Goal! Russia 1, Croatia 2.

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"We feel like conscripts, when they come to just before they have done their two-year (national) service, like those a bit demoralised who wanted to stay in the army for some more time longer".

But nearly immediately after making their third sub in the 88th minute, Subasic fell to the pitch grabbing his hamstring, and he was forced to continue after receiving treatment and made a save at his near post.

But then, with just five minutes to go, Mario Fernandes played the role of hero, heading home a set piece to make it 2-2.

Until the 88th minute, the script for this match read: Two evenly-matched teams battling for semi-final place.

But Pivaric was whistled for handling the ball at the corner of the box, and Dzagoev's cross was flicked inside the back post by Fernandes to level the game in the 115th minute.

With a penalty shootout looming, there was concern for Croatia as Subasic appeared to be struggling with cramp.

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