Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to semifinals

Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saves the decisive penalty during a penalty shoot out after extra time during the round of 16 match between Croatia

Russia's unexpectedly strong performance in World Cup 2018 has won over a new generation of fans despite the team's exit at the quarter-final stage.

They know what the Russian national team is worth.

Defender Mario Fernandes, who had brought his side level through a header in the 115th minute, missed what proved to be the decisive spot-kick, with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic making no mistake to send his team into the semi-finals.

"Of course we wanted to go further", he admitted.

Back in March, Mrs May said: "There will be no attendance by Ministers, or indeed members of the royal family, at this summer's World cup in Russian Federation". "And they won a place in our hearts", she said.

"We will have to improve on our set-piece defending between now and Wednesday as we conceded from one at the end of the game today".

"The whole of our nation is euphoric, they are upbeat, there are parties going on when Croatia play, they are out in the squares, out in the cafes... it's great that our president is going to be there tomorrow", Dalic said.

It also created a shadow every successive Croatia team has been forced to deal with and has not come close to matching.

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After once again starring as Real won a fourth Champions League crown in five seasons by beating Liverpool in Kiev in May, Modric will be nearly assured of winning the Ballon d'Or if he can lead Croatia all the way to improbable World Cup glory. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match. It will be a battle again but I believe in us.

"From the start of the second half we played much better, but unfortunately we couldn't finish the game".

"We have to find the motivation to play a good game and progress against a very respected host nation".

"If anyone's got any tickets out there, we're desperate for the semi-final", said Holder in the van before striking out for Moscow, just over 1,000 km (600 miles) north-west of Samara.

But this is a player whose reputation took a battering at home before the tournament due to his implication in the multi-million-euro corruption trial of former Dinamo Zagreb chief Zdravko Mamic.

While Putin sat out the Russia-Croatia quarter-final, his Croatian counterpart, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, was in the stadium, wearing the red and white of the Croatian flag.

"I'm not going to be too humble, either", he said.

"I'm glad that I scored goals but the most important thing is to help the team".

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