Croatia Are Through To The Semi-Finals After A Penalty Shootout

Tanya Simon
July 10, 2018

I told him that we're disappointed.

Despite the pre-World Cup barbs and snipes regarding Russia's quality and the politically-charged commentary related to the hosts, they bowed out in style, having exceeded expectations and injected the tournament with a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

"I feel pleasure and peace because I'm finishing on a high note by playing at the World Cup, in a quarterfinal with an excellent team and an excellent coach", he said in a video statement released by the Russian team.

Extra time was needed and Zlatko Dalic's side thought they had the match won when Domagoj Vida's header - with some apparent help from Vedran Corluka - found the back of the net.

"We saw how good they are from dead balls so will have to focus more on defending set-pieces because we conceded from a set-piece today, so have to improve that element of our game".

"We have never had so many people visiting our country like this, so this is a first for us, but we are doing our best". The most important thing is that the national team succeeds and achieves something big. To their credit, they didn't give up and an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot. "We played in the quarter finals for the first time in our lives". "I left them all out there", he said with difficulty.

Croatia may be blessed with the talents of Luka Modric - arguably the finest midfielder in the world - and Ivan Rakitic, but is there any reason for England to be genuinely fearful?

Vettel overcomes pain to hold off Hamilton
The reigning world champion clawed his way back to 14th within a matter of laps and continued to fight through the field. Two weeks ago in Austria, Vettel only received a five-second penalty for taking out Bottas on the first lap.

"I was concentrated throughout the match but after Rakitic's penalty, it came bursting out of me", he said.

"It's a super exciting game with great players on both sides", France defender Benjamin Pavard said.

"There are no favourites at this World Cup, every game is 50-50 and you have to fight it out".

England booked its place in the last four with a 2-0 victory over Sweden earlier on Saturday, while Friday saw France eliminate Uruguay by the same score before Belgium advanced with a 2-1 win over Brazil.

"It will be a sign to all clubs that, whether it's in England or overseas, that English players can play, that we've got players with super technique".

The situation was so that a group of lawmakers wanted to draft a bill that would impose a fine of 10,000 rubles (about $160) on anyone who criticized the team.

In his way will be Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, enjoying a quietly excellent World Cup at the heart of the Croatia back line. I don't cry often but now I have a good cause. The victor will face either France or Belgium in the final. Maybe we didn't want to risk some passes.

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