Russian Federation v Croatia 07 July 2018


Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic also makes one change to his team following the win on penalties against Denmark in the round of 16.

His players meanwhile probably didn't toast the big win with vodka or other hard liqueur, they will simply need to recover swiftly as they now set their sights on reaching the July 15 final when they meet England in Moscow on Wednesday.

Denis Cheryshev struck a stunning opener from distance to give the hosts the lead in the 31st minute but Croatia equalised through Andrej Kramaric just eight minutes later.

The score was locked at 2-2 after regulation and extra-time, with Denis Cheryshev in the 31st minute and Brazil-born Mario Fernandes in the 115th on target for Russian Federation, and Croatia temporarily leading from Andrej Kramaric in the 39th and Domagoj Vida in the 101st.

Hosts Russia has been the surprise package of the tournament and endured a real battle against Spain eventually prevailing after penalties.

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Kramaric had an overhead kick gathered by Akinfeev shortly after the break and Perisic was then inches away from putting Croatia in front as he saw his strike come back off the inside of a post.

Croatia were agonizingly close to scoring on the hour when Russia's defense failed to clear the ball and Ivan Perisic's shot hit the inside of the post but rebounded harmlessly across the face of the goal. Kramaric headed home the offer from the forward, beating Akinfeev for the first time in regulation. Mario Figueira Fernandes put in that goal by heading in a free kick from Alan Dzagoev.

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2 - Croatia are just the second side to progress on a penalty shootout in consecutive knockout games in a World Cup tournament after Argentina in 1990 (v Yugoslavia and Italy).

Both goalkeepers made early saves in the shootout, with an injured Danijel Subasic stopping the opening shot from Fyodor Smolov.

"After we went 2-1 ahead, we should have maintained our focus, but there was a lapse of concentration". Sbornaya have made their first quarter-final in history as Russian Federation, but Stanislav Cherchesov's men will be adamant that the job is not yet done and will be aiming to make the final four for the first time - matching their former counterparts in the Soviet Union, who made the semis back in 1966.

Defender Sergei Ignashevich has announced his retirement from football after Russian Federation lost to Croatia in the World Cup quarterfinals.

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.

- Croatia have now had eight different scorers at the 2018 World Cup - only Belgium (nine) have had more.

Out of their five World Cup campaigns, this is the third time that Croatia have come up against the hosts.

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