Injured goalie saves Croatia as Russian Federation beaten in Fifa World Cup quarterfinals

09 July, 2018, 04:10 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Denis Cheryshev of Russia celebrates with team mate Aleksandr Golovin after scoring the opening goal of the Fifa World

"But they [Croatia] have been behind in both knockout games and then they had the setback of missing a penalty in extra-time against Denmark and still found a way on penalties".

Fernandes had been a hero for Russian Federation earlier when his header in the 115th minute equaliser had sent the match to penalties after Domagoj Vida's goal in the 101st had given Croatia a 2-1 lead.

"The most important thing for me is that my national team succeeded and that we do something big".

Subasic made three saves in the round-of-16 shootout against Denmark, and stopped the first against Russian Federation for a total of four to match Harald Schumacher of West Germany and Sergio Goygochea of Argentina for the most in a single World Cup.

They have underachieved in recent years despite boasting a side including Modric, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

A semi-final was within grasp and the loss stung.

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The men in red exceeded the wildest expectations by coming within a penalty kick and a save against Croatia of making it into the semi-finals for the first time since 1966.

Croatia finished third at the World Cup in France 20 years ago and the focus has been on whether the current squad can better the achievements of the golden generation.

"At that moment, we had to repay everything he's given us on so many occasions". But he kept going and pulled off a series of saves in extra-time before reading Fyodor Smolov's intention of a cheeky Panenka penalty in the shoot-out. After that match, Subasic revealed he had been playing in tribute to a dead friend.

Croatia will now face England on July 11 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to decide who will play in the World Cup final, on July 15, also at Luzhniki. "They are young and fast, so it will not be easy for us. Hard work brought us here and we have to play a good game tomorrow and progress against the host nation and move closer to emulating the Croatia team of '98".

Russia President Vladimir Putin was understood to have watched the match with a Kremlin report later saying he was "proud" of the team.

The question is whether Tite will want to stay - many say he already has offers from some top European teams. We have to be proud this is an incredible thing. We saw England play today, they're compact and have a few remarkable players, they are strong at set plays.

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