Footballworld cup

Croatia sees off Stubborn Russia to reach semi-final

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, beating the host who fought back from a goal down in extra time, to take the game to penalties.

The game ended the host’s cinderella story to the knock out rounds and gives passage to Croatia, who now faces England in the semi-final.

Denis Cheryshev’s shot from distance broke the deadlock, but was soon cancelled out by Andrej Kramaric who levelled matters going into the break.

Danijel Subasic, battling through an apparent leg injury suffered late in regular time, stopped Russia’s first attempt from the spot and Mario Fernandes sent his shot wide, ending Russia’s unlikely run through the knockout stage.

In Extra time, Domagoj Vida scored through a header and when it looked like the game would end, Fernandes replied for the host five minutes later to send the game into penalties.

Subotic, who looked to have suffered an injury before the end of regulation time was the hero once more as Croatia became only the second team to win consecutive world cup penalty shoot-outs.

Fernadez who scored the goal that sent the game to penalties quickly went from hero to zero when he dragged his shot wide from spot to give Croatia the edge and advantage going into the final shoot-outs. Modric was lucky the spin on his shot was enough help the ball bounce back into the net, but it was Rakitic who gave the final blow when his penalty sent Akinfeev the wrong way to give Croatia their first semi-final spot since 1998.


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