Modric concerned for Croatia in semi-final

Croatia’s Luka Modric during training

Croatia’s Luka Modric during training

Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive spot-kick as Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties to book a World Cup semi-final date with England.

"Vladimir Putin talked to me during the day and he called me right now, and congratulated me on a very good game", Cherchesov said. "We will enjoy this game and hopefully we can make history".

"He said that what we showed on the field was great". I told him we were disappointed.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said, who plays in England for Liverpool, said his side's status as underdogs doesn't bother him.

In what was truly a thriller of a contest, the regulation time between the two teams ended 1-1, while the extra time finished 2-2.

Subasic made yet another save from the spot, after three against Denmark, to open the shoot out after Fyodor Smolov tried to be too clever.

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Denis Cheryshev got Russian Federation off to a brilliant start by marking his return to the starting line-up with yet another contender for goal of the tournament after his stunning efforts against Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the group stage, but Andrej Kramaric equalised just eight minutes later. Andrej Kramaric's header cancelled out a stunning strike from hosts' Denis Cheryshev to leave the teams level at halftime. "They are young and fast, so it will not be easy for us".

Still riding the high from his late heroics, Fernandes boldly stepped up to take a penalty in a bid to get his nation to the semi-finals.

They must recover quickly from a draining night before facing England, who were 2-0 winners over Sweden earlier on Saturday.

"The president invited the head coach and team members to an event to sum up the results of the championship and discuss Russia's World Cup heritage", the Kremlin spokesman said.

Zlatko Dalic's side then went on to finish the job, with Ivan Rakitic keeping his nerve to slot home the decisive pen and send Croatia through to the last four.

"It wasn't a handsome game, but it was a battle", Dalic said. "We were lucky. I was concentrating throughout the match, but after that penalty it came bursting out of me".

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