Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to World Cup semifinals

World Cup 2018 Russia vs Croatia Live Score Russia Look For Another Miracle Against Luka Modric Starred Croatia

World Cup 2018 Russia vs Croatia Live Score Russia Look For Another Miracle Against Luka Modric Starred Croatia

Fyodor Smolov saw Russia's first penalty saved by Danijel Subasic and, although Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved a Mateo Kovacic kick, the hosts' fate was sealed when Fernandes, turning from hero to villain, fired completely wide from their third attempt.

In the ensuing penalty shootout, both Danijel Subasic and Igor Akinfeev made one save each and Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive penalty that took Croatia to just their second semi-final in its independent history.

Here are the things we learned from the Fisht Stadium.

Akinfeev got a hand to Modric's too, but pushed it on to the post and back in, as Croatia finally had some luck to win the shoot-out and set up a semi-final against England. The imaginative checkerboards are coming for the Three Lions.

Captain Luka Modric is expected to partner Ivan Rakitic in the midfield, while Mandzukic will lead the attack line.

The two nations had met on three previous occasions with the Croats triumphing 3-1 in a friendly in 2015, after two goalless draws in qualification for the 2008 UEFA European Championship. Last night's quarter-final against Croatia dragged on into extra-time, just as their last-16 match against Spain had. Ivan Strinic noticed the gap and threaded a pass for Mario Mandzukic.

Croatia were one paced, lacked any ingenuity outside of Modric and were fortunate to secure progression.

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Rakitic was once again a picture of calm amid chaos in dispatching the definitive spot-kick.

The tournament in Russian Federation is seen as the last chance for the gifted generation of Modric (32), Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic (32), Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic (30) and Inter forward Ivan Perisic (29) to win a major title. But has so far flattered to deceive.

Both sides were probing for the second goal in the closing minutes of the first stanza, but they went into the dressing room deadlocked at 1-1.

At other end, substitute Aleksandr Erokhin and Mario Fernandes maneuvered a corner for Russian Federation, from which Artem Dzyuba rose to head Aleksandr Golovin's cross goalwards, but Danijel Subasic collected easily. But if the rest of his team-mates don't pick up their performances, it may end up being inconsequential what he does.

Cheryshev, the Russian who grew up in Spain and has had low-key career in Spanish club football, has started four matches and finished with four World Cup goals.

And Denis Cheryshev within that has a battle against himself. They also scored 11 goals in their five games and gave the tournament a verve and impetus that has been maintained by others with their emphatic, five-goal opener against a bewildered Saudi Arabia.

Receiving the return, Chereyshev took a touch inside to move into a pocket of space before curling thunderously into the top left corner from 25 yards to mark his fourth goal of the tournament. To win, Croatia had eight minutes. Subasic could only stand and watch as the shot flew past him. "I am playing for a great team with a great coach, a real coach and with players who give themselves fully to the game".

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