Croatia break Russian hearts in penalty shootout

Irene MckinneyJul 08, 2018

The Croatian national football team entered the semifinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup knocking out hosts Russian Federation in the quarterfinals match on Saturday night in Sochi with the 4-3 penalty shootout win following 2-2 draw in the regular and 30-minute overtime period.

Denis Cheryshev scored a brilliant opener in the first half but just eight minutes later former Leicester City striker Andrej Kramarić headed the Croatians level.

Tied after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time, and Croatia took a big step towards sealing victory after defender Domagoj Vida headed his team 2-1 up from a corner kick.

Vida was booked moments later after removing his top during his goal celebration.

Subasic, 33, saved three penalties in Sunday's round-of-16 shootout win in Nizhny Novgorod, and afterward showed the tribute to close friend Hrvoje Custic, who died in 2008 after being injured during a game falling into a concrete wall near the sideline of a field.

FIFA has fined the Croatian soccer federation over $70,000 for violating media and marketing rules at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He also watched Mario Fernandes shot miss the goal wide left in the third round.

And it was Lovren's team that prevailed 4-3 in the shootout when Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic netted the decisive kick.

Both sides were probing for the second goal in the closing minutes of the first stanza, but they went into the dressing room deadlocked at 1-1.

Saturday sees Croatia face the host nation for a place in the semi-finals and Rakitic praised midfield partner Luka Modric ahead of the game.

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