Croatia hold their nerve to beat Russian Federation on penalties

08 July, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Donna Miller

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.

The teams then went back and forth in regulation, and neither could find the victor, sending the game into extra time.

Subasic saved Russia's first penalty from Fedor Smolov and, after Russia's Mario Fernandes and Croatia's Mateo Kovacic had failed to convert, Barcelona's Rakitic clinched the second shoot-out win for the Croats, who reached the last for the second time, following 1998.

The goal swung the momentum of the contest the way of Croatia and they should have completed the comeback but after Igor Akinfeev flapped at a cross, Perisic could only strike the loose ball against the inside of the post.

Croatia, basking in the afterglow of their golden generation of footballers, will be targeting the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1998 - when they made their debut as an independent nation on football's biggest stage.

Going to penalties will not be an ideal ploy for both sides with Russian Federation boasting Akinfeev between the posts while their opponents will have Danijel Subasic, who against Denmark became only the second keeper in World Cup history to make three saves in their shootout win.

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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.

Goal! Russia 2 (3), Croatia 2 (4). In 1966 while still known as the USSR, the semi-finals against eventual winners England was as good as it got for them.

And nearly immediately afterward, Croatia had their victor.

Subasic was then tested again in the second period of extra time when he was able to corral Daler Kuzyaev's half-volley from the edge of the box, then stretched to cut out a cross. Assisted by Luka Modric with a cross following a corner.

Smolov began the shootout by sending a soft shot that Subasic was able to paw down after diving to his right, and Brozovic put Croatia ahead.

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

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