Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to reach semis

Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to reach semis

Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to reach semis

Croatia are through to the semi-final of the World Cup after beating Russia/Croatia following a nerve-wracking penalty shootout.

Cheryshev's troops were pressurising the Croats looking for the equaliser but the Vatreni managed to go into the break of extra time leading 2-1.

Their first tough competition came against Denmark, as the teams headed to penalties to decide the victor.

The game was hardly the most exciting 120 minutes of football, although it was still better than France vs Denmark, and the teams couldn't be separated in "normal" time.

Ivan Rakitic scored the deciding penalty after a 2-2 draw.

Russian Federation will play Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Saturday.

Hot, sticky weather will cling to ME this week
These prolonged heat waves are tough to manage, so do keep the water handy and spend as little time in the direct sun as possible. This weekend brings relief from the humidity and highs in the mid-upper 80s on Saturday with upper 80s-low 90s on Sunday .

Both goalkeepers made early saves in the shootout, with an injured Danijel Subasic stopping the opening shot from Fedor Smolov. Akinfeev made one save during the shootout and almost had another on Luka Modric, but the shot deflected off Akinfeev's hand, off the post and into the net.

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida also scored in extra time with a header in the 101st minute.

Saturday sees Croatia face the host nation for a place in the semi-finals and Rakitic praised midfield partner Luka Modric ahead of the game.

Both sides were probing for the second goal in the closing minutes of the first stanza, but they went into the dressing room deadlocked at 1-1.

This will be the first time that England will reach the last four of the World Cup tournament since 1990 when the reached this stages last.

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