Croatia beats Russian Federation on penalties

He grabbed the back of his leg near his hamstring and it appeared he may need a substitute.

Danijel Subasic saved another penalty and Ivan Rakitic converted the decisive one as Croatia ended the fairy-tale run of World Cup hosts Russian Federation with a 4-3 win on penalties on Saturday to set up a semifinal date with England.

But with no substitutions remaining, Subasic had no choice but to continue, and he got off to a good start, saving the first penalty kick from Russian Federation striker Fedor Smolov.

Russian Federation boss Stanislav Cherchesov makes one change to his starting line-up for the World Cup quarter-final against Croatia in Sochi.

And it earned the exhausted group a date with England in the semifinals.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, "We trusted ourselves. Maybe we can change something".

"There was not a single national team playing in this World Cup which had the complete trust of their country".

Fernandes sent the ball wide of the mark while captain Modric handed Croatia a 2-1 lead.

The 38-year-old holds the Russian record for most worldwide appearances with 127 and his last act on a football field was to convert a penalty in Saturday's shootout loss to Croatia.

Croatia have scored as many goals in four matches at this year's World Cup (8) as they did in six games in their previous two World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2014 combined.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren, who turned 29 this week, said: "I have been through a lot of ups and downs, I was most upset that I missed EURO 2016 in France".

"I hope we will make it to the finals, the boys can do that, I see they are in a good mood". But he saved fantastically the first shot in the shootout.

"I'm not sure anything went wrong as such", he said. "Thank God we have shown our character".

Erokhin forced Subasic into a save low down to his right from range late on, but the match seemed destined to be decided other than just 22 men, and the luck of a shootout entered into the frame when the match went to penalties. With seven minutes of the second half of extra time remaining, Josip Pivaric was booked for deliberately handling an Alan Dzagoev through ball on the edge of the area. The defending champions at the time defeated Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals and Italy in the semifinals that year, which also made Italy the last host nation to lose on penalties before Saturday. Even though Igor Akinfeev saved Vedran Corulka's shot, Lika Modric, Vida and Ivan Rakitic were on target.

Immediately after his penalty went in Rakitic was mobbed by his team-mates - in repeat scenes of Croatia's last-16 shootout victory over Denmark.

In the 11th minute of extra-time Domagoj Vida nodded in, before Fernandes brought things level once again. At that point, Subasic had to go the rest of the way for the Croatians.

"Our style was cramped a bit and maybe we did not want to risk with passes, so we had to balance it out in the second half", the Real Madrid man said. "And he who does, wins".

  • Stacy Allen