Monday, 12 November, 2018

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

Hosts Russia hoping to extend World Cup heroics at expense of Croatia World Cup Quarter-Final match report Russian Federation v Croatia 07 July 2018
Kristopher Love | 11 July, 2018, 11:02

Working the ball quickly upfield near the sideline, Croatia got the ball into the box on the feet of Mario Mandzukic, who fed in a cross for Kramaric to head home from eight yards.

Subasic's four shootout saves are tied with Harald Schumacher of West Germany and Sergio Goygochea of Argentina for the most in a single World Cup. Croatia will next play England in the semifinals on Wednesday in Moscow.

In a first half of few chances, the hosts went in front thanks to a thunderbolt from Denis Cheryshev, who curled home into the top-corner in the 31st minute. "We left everything on the field".

"We expect a very hard, tight and demanding match every match at this World Cup", Modric said. Even though Igor Akinfeev saved Vedran Corulka's shot, Lika Modric, Vida and Ivan Rakitic were on target.

Veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich, Vida and Daler Kuzyaev then all scored to make it 3-3, leaving Ivan Rakitic to calmly convert the winning penalty...

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.

Croatia's Andrej Kramaric, right, scores his side's first goal during the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018.

"I don't have any emotions left at all", said Russian Federation midfielder Roman Zobnin.

Prior to the Round of 16 clash against Spain, the Russians had never previously experienced a penalty-shootout in the competition since participating as an independent nation.

Dalic's team has emulated the generation of Suker which surprised everyone on Croatia's debut on the global stage in 1998 by reaching the semifinals which they narrowly lost to hosts France, who went on to lift the trophy. This was not a lovely game, it was a fight, a battle for the semifinal. Following a frenetic start during which both teams scored in the first five minutes, Zlatko Dalic's men were forced to endure a prolonged test of their nerves as the match went into extra time before ultimately prevailing after spot kicks. "We were lucky. I was concentrating throughout the match, but after that penalty it came bursting out of me".

Real playmaker Modric is the 2018 pin-up boy, with Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus) and Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) part of the big-club batch of players.

The only adjustment from the hosts' last-16 clash with Spain sees Denis Cheryshev, scorer of three goals in the tournament, come in for Yuri Zhirkov. He converted the final penalty for Russian Federation in the shootout against Spain, as well as the victor against Egypt and a pair of goals in the opener against Saudi Arabia in the group stage.