Ivan Rakitic scored the winning penalty as Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 in a shoot-out after a dramatic 2-2 draw on Saturday to end the World Cup hopes of the host nation and advance to a semi-final against England.
Denis Cheryshev gave Russian Federation the lead in regulation time with a long-range shot into the upper corner in the 31st minute.
Croatia were deservedly back on level terms a minute later, however, as Mandzukic ran into space on the left and delivered a telling cross for Kramaric to head past Igor Akinfeev from seven yards out. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.
Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the field entering the World Cup, held Croatia to a single goal in regulation, then responded to a crushing Domagoj Vida goal in the 101st minute with an equalizer in the 115th.
His first, in the opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia would most likely finish third on this list for its simpler finish, but Cheryshev had the most lovely of first touches, delicately flicking it up over the sliding defender, taking another touch before firing it home and doubling Russia's lead.
Croatia players celebrate winning the penalty shootout.
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"I wasn't born the last time England reached a World Cup semi-final", said Pickford.
Tied after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time, and Croatia took a big step towards sealing victory after defender Domagoj Vida headed his team 2-1 up from a corner kick. Russia's success will depend on how they manage to rein in the likes of Modric and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, and then hit on the counter as they have done with such surprising success at the tournament.
Cheryshev unleashed a left-foot missile from 20 metres out that flew into the near top corner, leaving Danijel Subasic stunned.
Croatia started to control possession but as they did so well against Spain, Russia was well organised defensively and gave Croatia few openings in the first half an hour.
However, Russia found the resources to draw level again, substitute Alan Dzagoev holding up a free-kick for Fernandes to head home in the 115th minute.
The game went to penalty kicks - where Russia's penalty takers made one too many mistakes from the spot.
'We watched the game today and saw how good they are from dead-ball situations, so will have to focus more on defending set-pieces, because we conceded towards the end today from a set-piece and we will have to improve that element of our game'.