Croatia finished Russia’s improbable World Cup dream when they won 4-3 on penalties to dispense with the courageous has after a sensational quarter-final finished 2-2 after additional time on Saturday.
Ivan Rakitic stroked home the triumphant penalty to send Croatia into a semi-final against England following a night of unremitting strain in Sochi, finishing the exceptional battle of a group positioned 70th in the world.
Fyodor Smolov saw Russia’s first penalty spared by Danijel Subasic and, despite the fact that Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev spared a Mateo Kovacic kick, the hosts’ destiny was fixed when Mario Fernandes let go totally wide from their third endeavor.
In the past 120 minutes, Denis Cheryshev rifled Russia in front with a long-go jolt, his fourth goal of the competition, in the 31st minute before Andrej Kramaric headed Croatia level six minutes previously halftime.
Croatia at that point proceeded with a delicate header in the 11th minute of additional time however Brazilian-conceived Fernandes headed the hosts level with five minutes of play staying to send the match to penalties.
Russia had just outperformed desires by achieving the keep going eight, expelling Spain in transit.
After an energetic opening, the match dropped off, with sessions of head tennis in midfield, yet it was Russia’s more natural approach which paid off first as they proceeded all of a sudden.
Cheryshev gathered the ball close to the midway line, traded goes with Artem Dzyuba and twisted a 25-meter shot past Subasic.
Be that as it may, slack defending enabled Croatia to level eight minutes after the fact. Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty zone and chipped a low ball once more into the inside where plain Kramaric scored with a looking header.
Croatia were tortuously near scoring on the hour when Russia’s barrier failed to clear the ball and Ivan Perisic’s shot hit within the post yet bounced back innocuously over the substance of the goal.
Croatia seemed to have the tie taken care of after Vida’s additional time goal until the point when Fernandes rose to head in a free kick and send the two groups to their second penalty shootout of the competition.