Croatia knock out Russian Federation on penalties

Russia vs Croatia Live Score FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming

Russia vs Croatia Live Score FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming

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. With players such as world-class midfielder Luka Modric and a string of top-level forwards including Mario Mandzukic, Ante Rebic, Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic, Zlatko Dalic's team scored at least two goals in each of their three group matches, including firing three past hapless Argentina.

Fernandes, who was born in Brazil but rejected a chance to play for that country's national team in 2011, sent his penalty kick wide of the net in the shootout, giving Croatia the advantage.

The decisive penalty once again fell to Rakitic, though, and he confidently rolled the ball into the bottom-left corner to keep Croatia's dreams of a first World Cup final alive.

The home fans were behind Russian Federation, screaming every time their team went forward in an open start, though Croatia had the better of the early chances.

But Croatia came into this game as the favourites.

With neither side able to find a victor the match headed into extra-time for the second time in a row for both teams.

Then they were up against Spain in the round-of-16, which many expected to be a procession for the 2010 winners, but they got through - albeit after a penalty shootout. But all of Russian Federation held its collective breath when a shot from Ivan Perisic on the hour mark struck the inside of the post and the ball somehow rolled across the face of the goal to safety - the Croatian winger couldn't believe he hadn't scored.

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Croatia edged in front on 101 minutes thanks to Domagoj Vida's finish from a corner, but a late, dramatic header from Mario Fernandes clinched a 2-2 draw and sent the game to penalties.

Many fans gave him a standing ovation when he was taken off in the second half.

Certainly, every time the ball got into the final third, the whole stadium was willing it to nestle in Danijel Subasic's goal.

Croatia nearly took the lead in the 60th minute but Perisic's could only watch his right-foot shot from inside the box hit the post and rebound out instead of in.

39 - Goal! Russia 1, Croatia 1.

Croatia, who reached their first semifinal since 1998, dominated possession over the 120 minutes but were let down by poor final passes and were vulnerable to Russia's aerial game.

His first, in the opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia would most likely finish third on this list for its simpler finish, but Cheryshev had the most attractive of first touches, delicately flicking it up over the sliding defender, taking another touch before firing it home and doubling Russia's lead. Cheryshev still had plenty to do when he collected the ball on the left and after playing a neat one-two with Artem Dzyuba, the winger curled a shot into the top-left corner of the net from 22 yards out.

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