Sports

Russia's World Cup dream ends with Croatia shootout defeat

Russia's World Cup dream ends with Croatia shootout defeat

Russian Federation took the lead in the 31st minute when Croatia failed to close to Cheryshev and the Villarreal midfielder fired a rocket from 20 yards out past the stranded Subasic.

Croatia's Domagoj Vida broke the deadlock in extra-time, getting his head to the ball from a corner to score in the 101st minute but Fernandes headed home from a free-kick just five minutes before the end in Sochi.

Goal! Russia 2 (3), Croatia 2 (4).

Croatia was a ideal three-for-three on their final penalty kicks, and Ivan Rakitic converted the game-winner to advance Croatia.

By the time it came to the shootout, both sets of players were exhausted, as Ivan Rakitic struck the victor for Croatia after Russian misses from Fernandes and Fyodor Smolov.

Croatia went agonisingly close to taking the lead for the first time on the hour, but Perisic was denied by the upright after Igor Akinfeev flapped at a lofted ball from Kramaric.

Cheryshev exploited it in a way the likes of Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane could come Wednesday, launching a long-range effort which had Danijel Subasic helpless in the Croatia goal.

Croatia pressed for a late victor, earning a pair of corners, but the game went to extra-time where after four minutes, right-back Sime Vrsaljko picked up an injury and Vedran Corluka became Croatia's fourth sub. And nestle is exactly what it did when Cheryshev broke the deadlock, curling a wonderful left footed shot into the top corner after playing an inch flawless one-two with Artem Dzyuba.

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They believe, and they thought they could do it. "It's spoilt young people who make a ton of money", he began. It will be hard, but I think England will just have enough about them.

Vida removed his shirt as he ran away in celebration, possibly thinking Croatia were heading through. Mario Fernandes (Russia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

The kick off time for the match is 7pm.

"We have always said we would take one game at a time and we can go on and create our own history".

And in the penalty kicks, Russian Federation lost its composure. Subasic could only stand and watch as the shot flew past him.

Croatia players celebrate winning the penalty shootout. Akinfeev denied Mateo Kovacic and nearly kept out Luka Modric's effort from 12 yards out, but Rakitic converted the decisive effort to seal a 4-3 win in the shootout.

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

But the hosts were again on the back foot when Fernandes sent his attempt wide of the post, and though Akinfeev pushed Modric's shot onto the post, it fell just over the line to put Croatia back in front.

The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked nation in the tournament, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union team finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.


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