World Media

Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Russia vs Croatia World Cup 2018

Russia President Vladimir Putin was understood to have watched the match with a Kremlin report later saying he was "proud" of the team.

"Putin called me during the day, and he called me right now", Cherchesov said. It's the first time we're in the quarterfinals in a very long time.

The broadsheet Observer said in its report: "At the final whistle, the victorious players converged on one another".

"We need to move forward and I think we believed in our strength and in ourselves".

Russia's unlikely World Cup run has captured the imagination of the nation, with celebrations the length and breadth of the country after each of the team's wins in the tournament.

The other semi-final will see France play Belgium.

Unfortunately for Russia, Croatia's Andrej Kramaric equalized the game eight minutes later off a great pass from Mario Mandzukic.

Fernandes then went from hero to villain, the scorer of the equalizing extra-time goal dragging his penalty kick woefully wide, handing Croatia the advantage.

Croatia beats Russian Federation 4-3 in a classic fixture, Russian Federation opened the scoreline with a brilliant goal but Kramaric soon equalized.

"Luckily, I've been playing alongside him for the past 10 years and each game since he was named captain, he's been leading us with great power, strength and self-confidence". "We gave everything we could".

"I remember in Moehlin in Switzerland, my home town, we were all insane, we rooted, we wanted to show our Swiss neighbours how powerful a football nation we are", Rakitic, who had dual citizenship but opted to play for Croatia, recalled.

The victor of the other semi between France and Belgium is considered the favorite to win the World Cup, but England has arguably its best chance to re-establish itself as the top team in the world since 1966. Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 and Croatia beat Denmark 3-2 on penalties in the round of 16.

Football fever has ratcheted up in the country of around four million people, boosted by a thumping 3-0 group-stage win against Argentina and a victory on penalties against Denmark to reach the quarter-finals.

"It wasn't a attractive game, but it was a battle", Dalic said.

He said: "No-one volunteers actually, but after 120 minutes I asked Zobnin if he wants to take a penalty and he reacted like he didn't hear me at all".

And it was Lovren's team that prevailed 4-3 in the shootout when Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic netted the decisive kick. The victor of this match will face the victor of the quarterfinal between Sweden and England. In the first halftime, we should have had more control of the ball, while in the second half we were dominant.