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Highlights Russia vs Croatia, FIFA World Cup 2018, Quarter-final at Sochi: Croatia clinch tie in penalties
Croatia will fancy their chances against surprise package and hosts Russia when the two sides clash in the FIFA World Cup quarter-final. Follow our live blog for scores and updates from Russia.
AET: Russia 2-2 Croatia (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties)
Ivan Rakitic's winning penalty sends Croatia through to the semi-finals against England after a thrilling quarter-final
ALL OVER! Croatia win 4-3 on penalties
Croatia reach the semi-finals after a nerve-wracking penalty shootout win over Russia. The hosts' journey ends in the quarter-finals. Sochi is in shock!
AET: Russia 2-2 Croatia
Penalties it is! The final quarter-final between Russia and Croatia will be decided from the spots. Both Russia and Croatia came via that route in the last 8, they will have to do it again if they are to set up a semi-final date with England
114' Russia 2-2 Croatia
GOAL! Mario Ferdandes equalises for Russia with a header into the bottom corner from an Alan Dzagoev free-kick. It's all square again with six minutes to play
101' Russia 1-2 Croatia
GOAL! Vida puts Croatia in front in extra time with a header from a corner that goes past a small crowd of players. Akinfeev beaten.
FT: Russia 1-1 Croatia
Extra time it is! Russia and Croatia cannot be separated after 90 minutes. No addition to the first half goals from Cheryshev and Kramaric. Another 30 minutes to follow
HT: Russia 1-1 Croatia
A strange first half. Cagey for most parts, but two big and crucial highlights. Cheryshev's strike giving Russia the lead before Mandzukic and Kramaric combined to pull Croatia level following a mistake from the hosts. Big second half to follow
40' Russia 1-1 Croatia
GOAL! Kramaric levels it up! Russia go to sleep allowing Mandzukic to sneak into space and lay it off to Kramaric to head home from close range
31' Russia 1-0 Croatia
GOAL! Denis Cheryshev curls a stunning effort past Subasic who remains rooted to the spot. What a breathtaking strike. Russia lead
Croatia in their changed black strips get the game underway. Russia in their usual red and white
Russia XI: Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Kudryashov, Fernandes, Zobnin, Samedov, Kuzyaev, Cheryshev, Golovin, Dzyuba
Croatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic; Mandzukic.
Russia and Croatia have never faced off in a World Cup.
They have played three times, with Russia yet to record a win. Two matches were goalless draws, with Croatia beating Russia 3-1 in a friendly in November, 2015 - their last meeting.
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It ends in heartbreak for Russia as Croatia edge them out 4-3 in penalties - an exciting campaign for the hosts ends with an undaunted display of passion but while they struggled with their nerves in the penalty shootout, fortune favoured the Croatians for the second time in as many consecutive knockout matches. Luka Modric and co. now face Gareth Southgate's England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday.
A strong and compact Croatia will fancy their chances against surprise package and hosts Russia when the two sides clash in a FIFA World Cup quarter-final tie on Saturday.
Croatia, basking in the afterglow of their golden generation of footballers, will be targeting the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1998 -- when they made their debut as an independent nation on football's biggest stage.
In 1998, Croatia finished third in the World Cup with a team considered to be their best-ever side. If they win against Russia, this Croatian team will join them in the history books.
In Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, Croatia have arguably the best midfield in Russia and Mario Mandzukic and Ante Rebic mean they will be more forceful in attack than the Russians. Rakitic and Rakitic have also been protecting defenders Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida.
Rebic, along with Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic may feature ahead of the midfield duo of Modric and Rakitic. Mario Mandzukic will lead Croatia's attack. In case, Croatia go with three-man midfield, one of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic may get a place.
Until their dramatic penalty shootout win against Denmark in the last round, the Croatians hadn't progressed past the last 16 since 2008. They will believe now they that can equal the 'Class of 98'.
Zlatko Dalic's side showed what they got by dismantling Lionel Messi's Argentina 3-0 during the group phase.
"We have shown in this World Cup that we have the right to hope for big things. We are playing really well and we have such players that we certainly should believe can go to the very end," defender Domagoj Vida was quoted as saying by various media outlets.
Croatia will pin their hopes on Real Madrid star Modric who has possibly been the best midfielder at the tournament.
Sixteen of Dalic's squad play in Europe's big five leagues, with Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic the hero against Denmark when he saved three penalties.
Coming to Russia, most of the host nation's supporters believe that their last 16 win against Spain as a minor miracle as the hosts had just 25 per cent of the ball, but soaked up the Spanish pressure to win on penalties.
Croatia will present a similar challenge to the Spanish, with a tidy passing midfield, but the Croatians are more direct and Russia will have to defend as well as they did against Spain and maybe even better.
The return of Alan Dzagoev should give them a bit more creativity in the middle of the pitch.
While their defence has looked shaky on occasions, Russia has genuine quality in attack. Spain will be wary of the threat posed by Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev, and Aleksandr Golovin.
Mario Fernandes, Sergei Ignashevich, Fyodor Kudryashov and Ilya Kutepov are expected to feature in defence.
With inputs from agencies
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