Croatia Beats Russia In Shootout To Advance To World Cup Semifinal

Yolanda Curtis
July 8, 2018

Until their dramatic penalty shootout win against Denmark in the last round, the Croatians hadn't progressed past the last 16 since 2008.

The third place side in 1998 will face Gareth Southgate's Three Lions on Wednesday in the second semi-final in Moscow for the right to face France or Belgium in Sunday's final.

With the game going into extra time, the tension was higher expectedly.

Ex-Leicester forward Kramaric nodded Croatia level.

In contrast for Russian Federation, who had taken the lead through another Denis Cheryshev wonder goal in the first half, there is only heartbreak as they finally go out.

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Croatia came within an inch of taking the lead on the hour mark as Akinfeev tried and failed to reach a Mandzukic cross, and the ball fell to Ivan Perisic, who tried to aim a shot inside the post only to see it come off the woodwork and roll through the six-yard box untouched.

However, Russia found the resources to draw level again, substitute Alan Dzagoev holding up a free-kick for Fernandes to head home in the 115th minute.

Mario Mandzukic took advantage of Mario Fernandes' wayward positioning to burst in behind and set up Hoffenheim forward Kramaric to nod home his 10 global goal.

It was therefore little surprise when the game slipped into the extra time period, with the tie having now developed into a slow, tepid encounter.

Croatia then went ahead with a soft header in the eleventh minute of extra time but Brazilian-born Fernandes headed the hosts level with five minutes of play remaining to send the game to penalties.

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Vida removed his shirt as he ran away in celebration, possibly thinking Croatia were heading through. Vida's header appeared innocuous at first but it evaded everyone, including Akinfeev, and bounced into the corner.

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 Mario Fernandes fired completely wide from their third attempt.

Goal! Russia 2 (3), Croatia 2 (4).

Fernandes' header sent the Fisht Olympic Stadium wild.

Russia vs Croatia Live Score, FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming: Russia take on Croatia.

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