Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up England semi-final

Brenda Watkins
July 8, 2018

As Croatia prepared to face Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final, Rakitic shared his reaction to learning Iniesta was on the substitute's bench. "We'd like to have served our motherland on July 15 [in the final] but we didn't manage to do it".

Russia's expectations were low heading into the FIFA World Cup, but Cherchesov feels their efforts have won over the public.

Croatia fans will be massively outnumbered in a crowd of more than 40,000 in Sochi, but Dalic's team are expected to have one notable backer - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic went into extra time with an apparent right leg injury he picked up in the 89thminute.

"Today we lost but it happened, nothing bad, " Cheryshev said. He was replaced by Vedran Corluka, the team's fourth substitution, meaning Croatia can't sub Subasic if the match goes to penalties.

"Holding the ball up, tirelessly stretching defenses into submission and making intelligent runs either onto throughballs or to open up space for Croatia's craftsmen are all caveats to Mandzukic's game".

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The hosts qualified for the last eight after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over former world champions, Spain.

Forbes even wrote 5 things to know before the encounter, giving Croatia the advantage.

While England hasn't reached the final since 1966, Croatia has never gotten there, and it may finally have the well-rounded team capable of reaching that level.

"There was not a single national team playing in this World Cup which had the complete trust of their country". Alongside them is Inter Milan's Ivan Perišić and upfront the warrior-like Mario Mandžukić.

They will now play England after the Three Lions won against Sweden earlier this afternoon. Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 and Croatia defeated Denmark 3-2 in the round of 16. Croatia had come back from 1-0 down against Denmark in the round of 16, before advancing on penalties.

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