Croatia ends Russia’s run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Hosts Russia hoping to extend World Cup heroics at expense of Croatia

Croatia looked to have sealed the victory on 100 minutes, with defender Domagoj Vida powering in a header from a corner.

Croatia then went ahead with a soft Domagoj Vida header in the eleventh minute of extra time but Russian Federation still managed to bounce back through Fernandes. It was Cheryshev's fourth in the World Cup so far. Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner. Russian Federation equalized in the final frame of extra time.

Having knocked out Spain on penalties in the previous round, Russia, 70th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, again defied the odds to take 20th ranked Croatia to a shootout with a 2-2 draw after extra time but on this occasion their marksmanship deserted them.

Croatia, with several players carrying knocks and fatigue setting in, took the lead in first-half extra time through Demagoj Vida.

After a decent start, Croatia began only to keep the ball in the middle while trying to slow down the game.

115 - Goal! Russia 2, Croatia 2. They got their equaliser eight minutes later in the 39th minute.

Croatia have also made only one change from the side which overcame Denmark on penalty kicks, with Marcelo Brozovic making way for Andrej Kramaric.

A stunning shot emerged in the 62nd minute when Croatian midfielder Ivan Perisic's effort from right to left hit the base of the post.

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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.

Later, Madzukic and Aleksandr Yerokhin had their chances with headers from close range as the two teams seemed to lack creativity and went after aerial movements.

It was the second straight time both teams played in a penalty shootout. A wild 1-1 match after 90 minutes saw each team score again in extra time, with penalty kicks deciding consecutive matches for both teams.

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.

31 - Goal! Russia 1, Croatia 0. It became 1-1 when Alan Dzagoev scored and Mateo Kovacic flopped.

The Villarreal man played a one-two with Dzyuba, got away from Luka Modric's attempted tackle and fired in from just outside the box, with Danijel Subasic barely moving.

Accolades have included a bison being named after Russia's top striker Artem Dzyuba and a new-born eagle after goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who saved two penalties against 2010 World Cup winners Spain in the previous round.

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