Croatia ends Russia's run in shootout

Luka Modric would be the first player since Wesley Sneijder in 2010 to appear in the Uefa Champions League and World Cup final in the same year if Croatia beat England. Shaun Botterill  Getty Images

After joining Federation Internationale de Football Association in 1992 and then UEFA in 1993 following the break up of Yugoslavia, Croatia made an instant impact at their first World Cup finals when they reached the 1998 semi-finals.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russian Federation in front in the first half but Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida scored for Croatia before the late leveller from Fernandes.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has received praise from all over the world after she personally attended her country's quarter final victory against World Cup hosts Russian Federation.

Russian Federation head coach Stanislav Cherchesov claims his squad have earned the adoration of a nation after reaching the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals on home soil.

After beginning his coaching career at the age of 28 with FC Vevey in Switzerland, Miroslav Blazevic managed several clubs, most notably Dinamo Zagreb, before taking the Croatia helm in 1994.

An opening loss to hosts Brazil proved costly in the group stage four years ago, before a heartbreaking defeat deep into extra time against eventual champions Portugal in the last 16 at Euro 2016.

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"We have one more step to go in Croatia and we'll treat it as "one game at a time".

"This makes us extremely proud that after 20 years we've reached the semis of the World Cup", the 32-year-old Modric added. "The country believed in us and as a united whole we achieved good results, but we can't stop here and we need to keep striving for more".

In the other quarter-final match, England defeated Sweden 2-0 to secure their place in the semi-finals where they will be facing Croatia.

Every time a Croatian player appears before the media at this World Cup, he knows a question about Modric is coming, and every time the answer reflects the admiration there is in the squad for their captain.

Croatia ended Russia's surprising World Cup run with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

"But I thought we handled it really well".

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Substitute Danny Rose nearly struck an extra-time victor when his angled shot whistled beyond the far post, and Dier headed over unmarked at a corner.

"We have to be united, go forward and apply pressure".

Artem Dzyuba had a volley blocked by Dejan Lovren as Russian Federation looked to make an early mark on the game, and an Ante Rebic header and Rakitic free-kick looped over the bar at the other end.

He said: "We have a great deal of respect for them".

Croatia are the second side to progress from a penalty shoot-out in consecutive knockout games in a World Cup after Argentina in 1990.

According to world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association he earned a total of 127 caps, scoring nine goals, and holding the record for most global appearances by any Russian player.

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