Rakitic And Croatia Following Inspirational Modric In Quest For World Cup

Russia extra motivated thanks to Putin says coach Cherchesov

Russia extra motivated thanks to Putin says coach Cherchesov

There was joy for Dejan Lovren as Croatia set up a World Cup semi-final with England after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Russian Federation on Saturday night.

Russia and Croatia needed well over 90 minutes to decide a World Cup quarterfinal, with the Croatians winning in penalty kicks Saturday in Sochi, Russia.

A blatant Croatian handball just outside the penalty area gave Russian Federation a free kick in a unsafe spot, and Alan Dzagoev picked out an unmarked Mario Fernandes, who redirected the ball into Danijel Subasic's goal.

Another penalty shootout drama must have tested the patience of Croatia fans, but that's a small price to pay for a first semi-final appearance since 1998.

Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic gave his team a lead by making his attempt from the penalty spot.

Abhijit: It might be just a semi-final for Modric and Croatia, but that's pretty big for a small nation with modest resources.

Full Time: Russia 1 vs Croatia 2 - Kramaric cancelled out Cheryshev's opener in the first half and there were no goals in the second half. Every match at this World Cup is such.

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.

"We took a hard route and we were unlucky, particularly in previous tournaments, especially the Euros".

'We dominated in extra-time and were the better team, we should have finished the job before penalties - but maybe it is written in the stars that we had to go through the extra drama'.

Modric said Subasic told him that the injury should not be a major factor as Croatia prepare for their semifinal.

In extra time, Subasic blocked and smothered Daler Kuziaev's attempt, which appeared to be a game-saver until Fernandes came unmarked on a free kick and his header to the far post couldn't be stopped in the 115th minute. We are giving our all.

"At that moment, we had to repay everything he's given us on so many occasions".

President Vladimir Putin did not attend the game, but watched it remotely, saying the players were heroes despite the defeat and the country was proud of them, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by Interfax. We lost in a fair and great game. If they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves.

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