Culture&Arts

Russia's Sergei Ignashevich announces retirement after World Cup exit

Russia's Sergei Ignashevich announces retirement after World Cup exit

- Only one of the last six World Cup matches to go to extra-time has not gone to penalties - the 2014 final between Germany and Argentina. That was the only year the Croatians advanced past the group stage before this tournament.

Many Ukrainians and Kremlin critics have slammed FIFA's staging of the World Cup in Russian Federation and say the tournament serves to whitewash Moscow's human rights record and aggression in Ukraine.

Ignashevich was one of the successful penalty takers in the 4-3 shootout defeat to Croatia and was also on target from the spot when they beat Spain on penalties.

"We worked so hard and gave everything we had to get through to the semis".

However, Rakitic ensured that Croatia prevailed in the shoot-out, their second in a row after beating Denmark on penalties in the last round. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said the team had played with all the heart and soul.

Russian Federation are the first host nation to have been eliminated at the quarterfinals stage of a World Cup in 32 years. "Thank you for your support, I'm happy to see so many people here".

"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".

Sebastian Vettel heads Lewis Hamilton in British Grand Prix second practice
Frenchman Esteban Ocon finished seventh for Force India, who are now level on points with McLaren and ahead on podiums. Hamilton was sent spinning and reported that his auto was broken but has so far continued in the race.

For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic had his penalty saved, but Marcelo Brozovic, Modric and Vida all netted theirs before Rakitic stroked in the victor.

"We have proved we are a football nation. I think for a country like Croatia it is impressive and we want to keep going further", said Rakitic.

"[Putin] watched, he was rooting for the team".

Rakitic was the hero against Russian Federation, converting the winning penalty just as he did in the round-of-16 shootout win over Denmark.

In the stadium, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was caught celebrating the national team's win with a little dance next to Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"Russia has shown the world what kind of championship we can have - the best in the world", said another fan.

The Barcelona midfielder scored the victor from the spot in the tense shoot-out against Denmark after goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three penalties, and then kept his cool again last night to send Croatia into the semi-finals and set up a tasty encounter with England.


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