Croatia overcame World Cup hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time to set up a semi-final showdown with England.

Ivan Rakitic struck the crucial spot-kick after Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes failed from the spot for Russia to settle a gritty quarter-final in Sochi on Saturday evening.

Denis Cheryshev’s stunner (31) had earned Russia a first-half lead in front of a boisterous home crowd, but that was cancelled out eight minutes later when Andrej Kramaric headed in.

 

Domagoj Vida (100) headed Croatia in front in extra-time only for Fernandes to equalise five minutes from the end to take the game to penalties, but Stanislav Chercheshov’s players were unable to replicate their shootout success over Spain and exit their own tournament at the quarter-final stage.

 

 

Player ratings

Russia: Akinfeev (6), Fernandes (7), Kutepov (6), Ignashevich (6), Kudryashov (6), Cheryshev (7), Kuzyaev (6), Zobnin (6), Golovin (7), Samedov (7), Dzyuba (7)

Subs: Yerokhin (7), Smolov (5), Gazinsky (6), Dzagoev (7)

Croatia: Subasic (7), Vrsaljko (7), Strinic (6), Lovren (7), Vida (7), Perisic (6), Rakitic (7), Kramaric (7), Modric (6), Rebic (6), Mandzukic (6)

Subs: Brozovic (6), Pivaric (6), Kovacic (6), Corluka (6)

Man of the match: Ivan Rakitic

Match stats

  • Croatia are the second team to win two penalty shootouts at a single World Cup tournament – the other was Argentina in 1990.
  • Russia are the first host country to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup since Mexico in 1986.
  • Croatia have qualified for just their second World Cup semi-final, also reaching that stage in 1998.
  • 14 of the 20 goals conceded by Russia at the World Cup have been scored via set pieces, including seven of the eight they conceded at the 2018 World Cup.
  • Croatia have now had eight different scorers at the 2018 World Cup – only Belgium (9) have had more.
  • Both of Croatia’s goals in this game were via headers – only one of their previous 29 World Cup goals was a header.
  • There were three headed goals in this match – the most in a World Cup match since Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia in 2002 (5 headers)

 

 

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