Croatia beats Russian Federation in shootout, advances to World Cup semifinals

Modric-cropped

This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russian Federation going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run. The South Americans were aggressive, intelligent and cohesive, but there were times after Raphael Varane's opening goal when France effectively held them at arm's length. They also helped Fox hit new ratings highs for its coverage of this year's World Cup.

Jesus, Football might actually be Coming Home.

They will now play England after the Three Lions won against Sweden earlier this afternoon.

It was a dramatic end to the quarterfinal for Croatia goalkeeper Subasic who went down with what appeared to be a hamstring injury late in regulation time. Ivan Rakitic, of Barcelona, Modric's Real team-mate, Mateo Kovacic, and Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic would get in most teams in Europe, but if Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli can combine to disrupt Modric's rhythm - and it will have to be a team effort - England will have cause for optimism. It was, perhaps, the toughest test that any of the semi-finalists faced in the last round (though Belgium would have plenty to say about that), and they powered through it.

'We like to play against teams like this because we have fast players and it will be a really open game, not like today's or the game against Denmark.

He added: "President Vladimir Putin called me during the day and called me right now".

Croatia will play England in the semi-finals on Wednesday in Moscow.

Lewis Hamilton hit by Kimi Raikkonen at the start
That left him vulnerable as Raikkonen clipped his rear tyre sending him into a tailspin off the track and into last place. His team-mate Bottas, on older tyres, led the closing laps, but was unable to resist the challengers.

"The most important for me is my team winning the World Cup".

England trio Harry Kane, Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire are looking to guide their side to only their second World Cup final. They won penalty shootouts in both previous rounds to advance to a first semifinal in 20 years.

In the later match in Sochi, Russia's fairytale run came to a halt as they were beaten on penalties by Croatia after 120 gruelling minutes of football.

"They're very risky on set-pieces", said Real Madrid midfielder Modric.

In the other semi-final, in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, Belgium, who conquered Neymar's Brazil in the quarter-finals, take on France, who saw off Uruguay.

Forward Fedor Smolov received a rousing reception despite making a mess of Russia's penalty kicks. Croatia will next play England in the semifinals on Wednesday in Moscow.

"We want to enjoy this victory and not put more pressure on ourselves with what happened in 1998 - what they did was impressive but we want to keep writing our own history and enjoy what we are doing which is very positive".

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