Croatia beat Russia, reach World Cup semifinal

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  • Cheryshev scores stunner
  • Krameric with equalizer for Croatia
  • Vida, Fernandes trade goals in extra time
  • Russia out at quarterfinal stage

Croatia beat Russia on penalty kicks to reach the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup following a dramatic 2-2 draw after extra time in Sochi.

Denis Cheryshev put Russia ahead with a stunner but Andrej Krameric equalized soon after and Domagoj Vida nodded home in the 100th minute it seemed like Russia’s fairytale run was over… Bruno Fernandes then headed home in the 115th minute to take it to penalty kicks.

Both Fernandes and Fyodor Smolov missed from the spot, with Croatia winning 4-3 on penalty kicks to advance.

Croatia now face England in the semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday, as they’ve reached the semifinals for just the second time in their World Cup history.

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Russia took the lead in sensational fashion as Cheryshev won the ball, surged forward and then curled home a stunning effort into the top corner to make it 1-0.

Cue pandemonium from the home fans in Sochi.

However the lead was short-lived, as before half time Croatia levelled as Mario Mandzukic had so much space on the left and then picked out a perfect cross for Krameric to head home.

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In the second half Croatia dominated as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic got on the ball and Russia struggled to get out of their own half.

Ivan Perisic came agonizingly close to winning it for Croatia but his shot came back off the post and bounced out with Russia looking on nervously.

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The game went to extra time and Dejan Lovren almost gave the ball straight to Smolov but he just about recovered.

At the other end his center back partner Vida was the hero as he headed home from a corner to make it 2-1 to Croatia.

Russia threw everything at Croatia in the final 15 minutes of extra time and eventually they broke through.

Fernandes headed home from Alan Dzagoev’s free kick to send the home fans in Sochi wild and make it 2-2 and send the game to penalty kicks.

But then Fernandes and Smolov missed, with the latter hitting his spot kick right at Croatia’s goalkeeper Subasic, then Igor Akinfeev came so close to saving Modric’s penalty but it hit the post and went in.

Rakitic then slotted home Croatia’s final penalty kick to send them to the semifinals.