Croatia Are Through To The Semi-Finals After A Penalty Shootout

Ruben Ruiz
July 8, 2018

Croatia ended Russia's unlikely World Cup dream when they won 4-3 on penalties to eliminate the gallant hosts after a dramatic quarter-final ended 2-2 after extra time on Saturday.

For some Twitter users, Russia's loss was all about Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The match began when Croatian fans started to re-enact their own version of Iceland's "Viking thunder-clap" - you know, the one where they all clap really slowly and chant in ideal unison.

Lovren will now come up against Liverpool teammates Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold in Wednesday night's World Cup semi-final. The winners of those game advance to the final, set for Sunday, July 15.

Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach of the most surprising success story at this World Cup of upstarts, expects to take his first phonecall shortly before kick-off this evening. "It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us". He was replaced by Vedran Corluka, the team's fourth substitution, meaning Croatia can't sub Subasic if the match goes to penalties.

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Denis Cheryshev was Russia's biggest star at this year's World Cup with four goals in five games. An unmarked Kramaric headed in a cross from Mario Mandzukic eight minutes after the opening goal.

Ivan Rakitic has waved off Andres Iniesta after the veteran's time at Barcelona although it was his exit from the World Cup that left the Croatian most vexed. They were the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, only there because they were the host country, and they won two of their three groups games, and then shocked everyone when they knocked Spain out of the competition to move on to the quarter finals.

Following a few missed opportunities, Croatia had to settle for a chance to win the match in extra time. "The team gave everything it had to the cause and we can sleep soundly tonight".

Cheryshev was Russia's leading scorer at the World Cup with four goals.

Other reports by GizPress

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