Croatia edge Russia on penalties to set up England semi-final showdown

Aleksandr Golovin vies with Spain's defender Sergio Ramos during the match between Spain and Russia

Aleksandr Golovin vies with Spain's defender Sergio Ramos during the match between Spain and Russia

Denis Cheryshev is back in the Russian Federation starting line-up for the hosts' meeting with Croatia in their World Cup quarter-final in Sochi on Saturday.

Russian Federation will reshuffle their team for one of the biggest games in the host nation's history, a World Cup quarter-finals showdown with Croatia.

It was a match that, frankly, was pretty boring for the first 30 minutes. They are much more potent in attack compared to Spain and could cause Russian Federation trouble with their quick passing game and crosses aimed for Mandzukic.

But that lead was short lived.

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The teams then went back and forth in regulation, and neither could find the victor, sending the game into extra time.

The cagey 0-0 draw with the former world champions came about after Russian Federation adopted a more defensive strategy, but they will return to a 4-2-3-1 formation versus Croatia. But Russia themselves also had just one shot on target in two hours of football and needed two saves by their goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev in the penalty shootout to advance to the last eight and send the country into a soccer frenzy.

Rakitic slotted home the winning kick against Denmark in the last 16 and once again held his nerve to convert from the spot, with Mario Fernandes going from hero to villain by missing from 12 yards after his 115th-minute header had made it 2-2 deep into extra time. It's Belgium vs. France on Tuesday, and England vs. Croatia on Wednesday.

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