Thursday, 18 October, 2018


Kick-by-kick look at the shootout between Russian Federation and…

Hosts Russia hoping to extend World Cup heroics at expense of Croatia Kick-by-kick look at the shootout between Russian Federation and…
Noah Ferguson | 11 July, 2018, 11:06

Although Russia made it further at this year's World Cup than most anyone expected, it was Croatia that advanced to the semifinals with a 4-3 shootout victory Saturday following a 2-2 draw.

Croatia became the second team in history to win back-to-back penalty shootouts at the World Cup.

Russian Federation coach, Stanislav Cherchesov changed his preferred line-up in the round of 16 encounter against the la Rojo. We could only prove our worth by working hard. I told him we were disappointed.

The 38-year-old holds the Russian record for most global appearances with 127 and his last act on a football field was to convert a penalty in Saturday's shootout loss to Croatia. It was, however, the Croatians who continued in the competition with a second penalty win.

Working the ball quickly upfield near the sideline, Croatia got the ball into the box on the feet of Mario Mandzukic, who fed in a cross for Kramaric to head home from eight yards.

"We should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama", said inspirational playmaker Luka Modric.

After hardly seeing the ball in the round of sixteen, Stanislav Cherchesov's side will be looking to play a slightly more expansive game at the Fischt stadium and will be cheered on by an expectant home crowd.

The lowest-ranked side entering the competition, the hosts had taken a first-half lead though Denis Cheryshev's blast from distance, only for Croatia to equalise through Andrej Kramaric soon after.

Russian Federation have recalled Denis Cheryshev for their World Cup quarter-final clash with Croatia.

There is also one change to Croatia's team from their match against Denmark, with former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric replacing Marcelo Brozovic. It could be either defensive or attacking, depending on the pressure applied by Croatia. Following a frenetic start during which both teams scored in the first five minutes, Zlatko Dalic's men were forced to endure a prolonged test of their nerves as the match went into extra time before ultimately prevailing after spot kicks.

Russian Federation focused on counter-attacking in the early stages and while Ivan Perisic glanced a header wide, Dalic's men struggled to turn their dominance of possession into clear-cut chances.

Croatia then began to settle into possession, only to concede against the run of play in the 31st minute.

But slack defending allowed Croatia to even the score eight minutes later.

Croatia, with several players carrying knocks and fatigue setting in, took the lead in first-half extra time through Demagoj Vida.

Fourteen minutes later, Dzagoev curled in a brilliant free-kick from the right edge of the area and the unmarked Fernandes deftly headed the ball into the bottom corner to drag his team back from the cliff edge.

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