Croatia Rewrite History and Reach Semi-Final

An exhausted and relieved Croatia side - only the second team to win consecutive shootouts in a single World Cup after Argentina in 1990 - will now advance to face England in the semifinals on Wednesday.

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.

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

Denis Cheryshev struck a stunning opener from distance to give the hosts the lead in the 31st minute but Croatia equalised through Andrej Kramaric just eight minutes later. Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the centre where unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

Brazilian-born Mario Fernandes had kept Russia's dream alive when he headed home in the 115th minute to level the scores and force penalties, but he and Fedor Smolov both failed to convert their spot-kicks in Sochi.

The victor of today's clash will face either England or Sweden in the semi-finals.

U.S. Service Member Killed In 'Apparent Insider Attack' In Afghanistan
The incident marks the first combat fatality for the USA military in Afghanistan since April 30, and the second there this year. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, was killed in a firefight with ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan on January 1.

With the crowd silenced following an extra-time goal from Croatia defender Domagoj Vida in the 101st minute, Russian Federation defender Mario Fernandes scored to send the match to yet another penalty shootout.

Croatia went agonisingly close to taking the lead for the first time on the hour, but Perisic was denied by the upright after Igor Akinfeev flapped at a lofted ball from Kramaric. Assisted by Alan Dzagoev with a cross following a set piece situation.

Smolov began the shootout by sending a soft shot that Subasic was able to paw down after diving to his right, and Brozovic put Croatia ahead.

After Fernandes' failure, Modric got lucky when his strike found the opposite side of the net to that following touches off Akinfeev's glove and the post.

The arrival of the host nation for the final World Cup match at the Fisht Stadium meant by far the most vibrant atmosphere yet at this Black Sea beach resort.

The hosts head into the game following a 4-3 penalty-shootout victory over Spain in the round of 16 on Sunday.

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