Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Russian Federation v Croatia quarter-final

Russian Federation v Croatia quarter-final

Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties on Saturday to set up a World Cup semifinal against England after a dramatic match full of twists and turns. "I am crying! We will party all night", said a fan before being mobbed by other fans on the main square in Zagreb. We lost in a fair and great game. "We told him we were disappointed".

"We can't live on emotions, we had a lot of mistakes, we needed to change some things, there were enough things that we didn't plan, our opponents also forced us into mistakes", he said.

Croatia hadn't advanced this far at the World Cup since the 1998 World Cup, which was its first appearance.

Croatia will play England, who earlier beat Sweden 2-0 in Samara, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday.

Croatia's Domagoj Vida broke the deadlock in extra-time, getting his head to the ball from a corner to score in the 101st minute but Fernandes headed home from a free-kick just five minutes before the end in Sochi.

Russia's Igor Akinfeev during extra time.

But Fernandes, the man whose goal took it to pens, put the ball wide the very next spot kick.

Rakitic then scored his second penalty shoot-out victor in two games.

Denis Cheryshev and Andrej Kramaric struck for either side during 90 minutes.

Russia's unlikely World Cup run has captured the imagination of the nation, with celebrations the length and breadth of the country after each of the team's wins in the tournament.

Iniesta replaced David Silva after 67 minutes of the game, which ended in a penalty shoot-out victory for the hosts after a 1-1 extra-time draw.

However, a bigger issue for coach Zlatko Dalic will be how to get more decisive performances from his top players. "It was a very dignified game", Evgenia, 36, a psychologist, said.

Turning to his rival at club level but team-mate on the global stage, Rakitic described Croatia captain Luka Modric as "a leader" and admitted he loathes playing against the Real Madrid star.

Russian Federation were awarded a free-kick after Josip Pivarić handles the ball and the World Cup hosts get their equaliser.

Many fans gave him a standing ovation when he was taken off in the second half.

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