Russian Federation vs Croatia - History on the line in Sochi

Russian Federation vs Croatia - History on the line in Sochi

Russian Federation vs Croatia - History on the line in Sochi

However, at the other end of the field will stand an equally hard opposition for the Russian offence to break down in Danijel Subašić, who himself saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark - a performance that puts him level with Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo in terms of penalties saved in a World Cup shootout.

The lowest-ranked side entering the competition, the hosts had taken a first-half lead though Denis Cheryshev's blast from distance, only for Croatia to equalise through Andrej Kramaric soon after.

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.

The defending champions at the time defeated Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals and Italy in the semifinals that year, which also made Italy the last host nation to lose on penalties before Saturday. Croatia began warming up its backup goalkeepers in case Subasic was unable to continue into extra time. The victor of that game faces England or Croatia in the 2018 World Cup final.

Ivan Rakitic is your man! The Villareal midfielder evaded Modric's challenge and struck a swerving shot from 30 yards which 'keeper, Subasic watched all the way into the top corner from Russia's first shot of the match.

The home team punished them when Cheryshev came in from the left and, after a one-two with Artem Dzyuba, skipped away from Modric to curl an exquisite 31st-minute effort beyond Subasic, who remained rooted to the spot as the ball sailed in.

After Fernandes' failure, Modric got lucky when his strike found the net following touches off Akinfeev's glove and the post.

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It would take just eight minutes for Croatia to level the scores, with Mario Mandzukic setting up former Leicester City attacker Andrej Kramaric, who headed home. Both Luca Modric & Ivan Rakitic didn't see enough of the ball against Denmark, and the Croatia boss may instruct his star midfielders to drop slightly deeper to start to dictate the play.

The game stayed locked at 1-1 through the final whistle, prompting two periods of extra time. Domagoj Vida (Croatia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

He blocked Russia's first penalty kick by putting up his left hand to get a piece of an attempt from Fyodor Smolov.

Dzagoev scored in the second attempt and Russian Federation were back level when Kovacic scuffed his shot, allowing Akinfeev to save.

The subsequent shoot-out then saw Subasic and Akinfeev make a save each before Fernandes' miss, which allowed Rakitic to send Croatia through.

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

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