The world catches the Russian Federation 2018 virus

Henry Romero  Reuters

Croatia captain Luka Modric said his side showed character on Saturday to get through "another drama" after edging to a second straight shoot-out win to knock Russian Federation out of the World Cup and set up a semi-final with England.

Croatia booked their semi-final place against England thanks to another penalty shoot-out success, this time against hosts Russian Federation after the sides were level at 2-2 following extra-time.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended Russia's two elimination matches - its win over Spain, which prompted wild partying in the capital, and the quarter-final loss to Croatia.

"When you've got all these other teams, France, Belgium, England, that's the top teams from the beginning and we are the underdogs".

"They breezed past Sweden".

"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 objective of the exhibition is to engage with football fans in Russian Federation and introduce them to Qatar's preparations for the World Cup", said Kayed.

Two decades ago, Croatia announced themselves on the worldwide stage with a third-place finish in France. We want to continue on their way and hopefully we can take a step further tomorrow.

The 2002 and 2006 tournaments were particularly frustrating because a win in the final group games would have advanced Croatia to the knockout round.

Croatia’s latest ‘golden generation’ finally shining at World Cup
England trio Harry Kane , Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire are looking to guide their side to only their second World Cup final. In 2002, 2006 and 2014 they were eliminated in the group stages, and they failed to qualify for the 2010 tournament.

"That was a great success for Croatia as a nation, and we are on the right track to repeat that feat".

After finishing second to Argentina in Group H following victories over Jamaica and Japan, World Cup debutants Croatia claimed some impressive scalps on their way to the semi-finals.

Harry Kane looked tired at the end of Saturday's game, and Jordan Henderson was taken off as a precaution.

Both sides played out a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes before heading into the spot kicks where the Croats at the end of the game.

He said: "We have power left for England".

"I know all their players", he said.

Croatia's long periods of possession were largely unproductive, the final pass was invariably missing and they were surprised by Russia's aggressive approach. It will be a battle again but I believe in us. "We have two matches to play, we are very motivated, we will give our all". Of course I have an important role on a daily basis, but the credit goes to my players.

Qatar in comparison will be "a city World Cup" and the World Cup is "going to be present everywhere".

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