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

08 July, 2018, 11:41 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Croatia’s Luka Modric during training

After Croatia won the penalty shootout she went to the team's changing rooms to give them hugs and congratulate the coach and players.

Russian Federation reached the quarter-finals for the first time since not playing as part of the Soviet Union, and the team exceeded expectations in knocking out Spain in the last round before running a much-fancied Croatia team incredibly close in Sochi.

Rakitic stepped up to score the winning kick and earn his country a place in the semi-finals for the first time since 1998.

An opening loss to hosts Brazil proved costly in the group stage four years ago, before a heartbreaking defeat deep into extra time against eventual champions Portugal in the last 16 at Euro 2016.

After 60 games we are down to just France, Belgium, England and Croatia remaining who can the win the 21st staging of the World Cup. They are still great guys for us, they are heroes.

World Cup Daily: For Croatia, one man is the hero.

"We should have finished the job before penalties but maybe it's written in the stars we have to go through the extra drama", said Luka Modric, whose penalty bounced off Akinfeev's hand and the post before entering the other side of the net.

Ivan Rakitic scored the victor from the spot as Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev dived the opposite direction.

England legends react to reaching World Cup semi-finals
Another standout performer for England was Leicester defender Maguire, who headed his side into the lead with his first global goal.

"We do not want to stop, we will try to play our best game [against England]".

"He watched, he was rooting for the team".

Croatia came from behind in Sochi with Andrej Kramaric cancelling out Denis Cheryshev's opener as the tie ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

"Talking about criticism, if they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves".

"I'm very pleased at how the team played the whole World Cup, how it showed it character and worked to the maximum", said Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

"We knew from the first second, I knew where we were heading".

In Spain's knockout clash with Russia, Iniesta was left on the bench in a move that Rakitic simply didn't see any sense in.

"I'm grateful to the players... thanks to all the fans for their support, it's thanks to them that we managed to get so far", he added.

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