Croatia end World Cup run of hosts Russian Federation on penalties in quarters

Alexander Demyanchuk  TASS

While England have played 480 minutes and been involved in one penalty shootout in Russia, Croatia have played 30 minutes more and their past two games have gone to penalties.

He added: "President Vladimir Putin called me during the day and called me right now. I'm disappointed, because we were one step away from the semifinal".

"You know, the coach, what he has, football comes home", Suker said, referencing England's "Three Lions" song.

Whoever makes it through today's last two games will be through to the semi-final matches, which will then follow next week.

But as in the previous match against Denmark - which Croatia also won on penalties after an insipid 1-1 draw - all too often his team mates failed to do anything with them.

"I don't have any emotions left at all", said Russian Federation midfielder Roman Zobnin.

After taking an extra-time lead when Domagoj Vida scored just the third goal of his lengthy worldwide career, Croatia could have been looking at a penalty shootout exit when Mario Fernandes found a dramatic late equaliser for Russian Federation.

"You were not the 12th player - you were the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th players", Cherchesov told the crowd gathered on a scenic hill overlooking Luzhniki Stadium.

"But money isn't playing, Ferrari isn't playing, watches aren't playing, just 11 against 11 warriors in the World Cup". Croatia's shooters did enough that Ivan Rakitic's successful penalty was the victor and set off another wild celebration with Subasic on the bottom of the pile.

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"At certain times we lacked power but we played two times 120 minutes of football in six days", Modric said. Back then they lost to hosts France in the last four.

Croatia's captain and spiritual leader, the Real Madrid player is involved in just about everything his team do that is good. We will find extra motivation, extra everything.

The victory overwhelmed Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who cried after Rakitic's winning penalty.

"This was not a attractive game, but it was a fight", Dalic commented.

"We were lucky, thank God, and I was concentrated throughout the match, but after the penalties it came bursting out of me".

Modric and Rakitic were decisive in the shootout but didn't play up to expectations in regulation and extra time, unable to create many significant chances for Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic up front.

"Harry Kane is the top scorer [in the tournament] with six goals so he's not easy to stop and Raheem Sterling is really unsafe because he's fast and he links well with Kane but we were able to stop Lionel Messi and Christian Eriksen".

Despite the cruise through the group stage, Croatia has been given all it can handle since reaching the knockout stages.

Many fans gave him a standing ovation when he was taken off in the second half.

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