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

Brenda Watkins
July 8, 2018

Following some superb attacking displays, comparisons with the 1998 team that midfielder Ivan Rakitic - who was born in Switzerland to parents who originally hailed from Croatia - remembers so well were inevitably made.

Croatia also came through the last round on penalties after drawing with Denmark.

Players of Croatia pose for a photo ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on July 01, 2018.

Fernandes scored off Alan Dzagoev's free kick in the 115th minute, making the home crowd go insane and restoring faith at the time, when it appeared a semifinal berth was slipping away.

Croatia appeared to have the tie in the bag after Vida's extra-time goal until Fernandes rose to head in a free kick and send both teams to their second penalty shootout of the tournament.

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It was the second straight time both teams played in a shootout.

Akinfeev levelled things up at 1-1 when he dived the right way to keep out Kovacic after two penalties each.

Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the centre where unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported how England's Three Lions defeated Sweden 2-0 margin courtesy of two headed goals from Harry Maguire's 30th minute and Dele Alli's 59th minute during Saturday's quarterfinal fixture to book passage into the semifinals of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

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