Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to semifinals

Modric-cropped

Part of the reason for Croatia's success was another stunning display from goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who has now stopped four penalties in shootouts in this World Cup: only Argentina's Sergio Goycochea in 1990 has performed a similar feat, although German keeper Harald Schumacher saved a total of four shootout penalties in 1982 and 1986.

'The favourites, the big teams are home.

Meanwhile, Croatia's first World Cup semi-final for two decades has revived the memories of the country's football high point and raised hopes that Luka Modric's side can go one better than their legendary predecessors.

Mandzukic's wish in all likelihood became reality, with fans celebrating long into the night after Croatia knocked out Russian Federation on penalties to reach only their second World Cup semifinal in their history.

However, the 32-year-old for now is only bothered about winning the World Cup rather than caring about individual awards.

Prior to the round of 16 games in the 2018 tournament, teams going first in a World Cup penalty shootout had won 60 per cent of matches.

England is basking in the team s run to the last four of the World Cup as fans start to believe that they can lift the trophy for the first time since 1966.

Nicknamed "the Fiery Ones", that team has stood as an example to their successors ever since. "They have a young, alive, attacking team". But we have shown throughout the tournament that all of our players are unsafe.

"And I think this is the best he's been playing throughout his whole career".

"We watched England and we saw how strong they are", Modric said in the post match press conference after his sides quarter-final victory. "But I'm sure one of us will find a way to surprise him". We're giving our all.

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", he said. He even met and took photographs with Marcelo Brozovic, who netted in the penalty shootout, and Kovacic, whose miss, thankfully did not cost Croatia too much, along with the passionate coach Dalic.

"We've been always returning to the 1998 team, putting a new burden on Modric and his team. We have nerves of steel", said Kramaric.

Federation Internationale de Football Association is urging England supporters still considering a last-minute trip to Russia 2018 to check the official website for returned tickets from fans of other countries.

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