Russia 2-2 Croatia AET (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties) – World Cup 2018


Russia’s emotional and stubborn journey through their own World Cup ended in heartbreak just before midnight on the Black Sea when they lost a penalty shoot-to Croatia at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Croatia will now face England in the last four in Moscow on Wednesday night and on this evidence there is nothing particular for Gareth Southgate and his players to fear. Luka Modric and his team-mates will certainly present England with a different test to any they have faced so far in Russia. They will play on the front foot and attempt to take the game to England, something teams like Sweden, Colombia, Panama and Tunisia have not done.

However, Croatia will be tired after this gruelling and emotional night. They have played two lots of 120 minutes in the knockout stages, winning a shoot out against Denmark in the last sixteen, and that may take its toll in three days’ time.

Croatia players celebrate after winning their second consecutive knockout round match on penalties to reach semi-finals

Croatia players celebrate after winning their second consecutive knockout round match on penalties to reach semi-finals

Croatia will play England in the semi-final after winning the penalty shootout 4-3 against Russia following a 2-2 draw AET

Croatia will play England in the semi-final after winning the penalty shootout 4-3 against Russia following a 2-2 draw AET

Ivan Rakitic scores the winning penalty to give Croatia the win after an eventful quarter-final that ended 2-2 after extra-time

Ivan Rakitic scores the winning penalty to give Croatia the win after an eventful quarter-final that ended 2-2 after extra-time

Russia players despair after losing on penalties after they took the lead and also fought back to 2-2 five minutes from time

Russia players despair after losing on penalties after they took the lead and also fought back to 2-2 five minutes from time

Mario Fernandes fluffed his lines and sent his spot-kick wide after being the hero in extra-time to take it to penalties

Mario Fernandes fluffed his lines and sent his spot-kick wide after being the hero in extra-time to take it to penalties

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren posted celebration photos from inside the changing room after the quarter-final victory

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren posted celebration photos from inside the changing room after the quarter-final victory

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS

Russia (4-2-3-1): Akinfeev 6, Fernandes 6, Kutepov 7, Ignashevich 8, Kudryashov 6; Kuyzaev 6.5, Zobnin 6, Samedov 6 (Erokhin 54mins 6), Golovin 6.5 (Dzagoev 102), Cheryshev 7 (Smolov 67mins 6), Dzyuba 6.5 (Gazinsky 79)

Goals: Cheyrshev 31

Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov: 7

Croatia (4-2-3-1): Subasic 6, Vrsaljko 6 (Corluka 97), Lovren 6.5, Vida 6, Strinic 6.5 (Pivaric 72mins 6), Modric 8, Rakitic 6.5, Perisic 6 (Brozovic 62mins 6), Kramaric (Kovacic 88) 6, Rebic 7, Mandzukic 6

Goals: Kramaric 39, Vida 100

Booked: Lovren, Strinic, Vida

Manager: Zlatko Dalic: 6.5

Referee: Sandro Ricci (Braz) 6

Man of the Match: Luka Modric

For Russia, this was a tough night. They had come back from the dead with an equaliser from defender Mario Fernandes seven minutes from the end of extra-time to force penalties. But sadly it was the Brazilian-born defender who missed the crucial kick in the shoot-out.

For Croatia, Marcelo Brozovic, Modric, Domagoj Vida and, finally, Ivan Rakitic all scored their kicks with only Mateo Kovacic missing his country’s second effort.

But after Russia had recovered from the shock of Fedor Smolov missing their first kick with a successful strike from Alan Dzagoev, Fernandes dragged his team’s third one horribly wide meaning that subsequent goals from Sergey Ignashevich and Daler Kuziaev were…



Read More:Russia 2-2 Croatia AET (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties) – World Cup 2018