Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

#WC2018: Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up semi against England

#WC2018: Croatia beat Russian Federation on penalties to set up semi against England

England will take on Croatia, which became the first team since 1990 (Argentina) to win back-to-back penalty shootouts.

The World Cup hosts were not given any chance prior to the kickoff of the Mundial but they surprised many right from their opening game when they pumped in five goals against Saudi Arabia.

"Modric is bestselling, although (Danijel) Subasic is becoming increasingly popular", Ana Maric, 20, selling souvenirs in downtown Zagreb, told AFP. "I've learned how to deal with it", the Sampdoria defender said recently, fully aware the finger of blame is generally pointed in his direction whenever things go wrong.

"It's a pride for all Croats to have a player like Luka, but I do not like to see him in Madrid", he said. But he saved fantastically the first shot in the shootout.

"I don't have any emotions left at all", said Russian Federation midfielder Roman Zobnin. "But thank God we've shown our character".

Following some superb attacking displays, comparisons with the 1998 team that midfielder Ivan Rakitic - who was born in Switzerland to parents who originally hailed from Croatia - remembers so well were inevitably made.

Les Bleus dominated proceedings against a defensively stingy Uruguay, with N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba teaming up to overpower and thwart the South Americans in central midfield, while Antoine Griezmann gave their defence plenty of fits with his deft movement both with and without the ball. They are still great guys for us, they are heroes.

Thai cave rescue site cleared to 'help victims'
On Sunday, there was a break in the rain and a small window to start the rescue attempt, the Thai government said . The boys' conditions were "not that bad" and "they're OK", according to Eve Tapanya from the Tourist Police.

There we have it, Croatia will face England on Wednesday (July 11) for the semi-final stage of the tournament. We have to enjoy this moment and then we have to prepare for England.

"There are no favourites at this World Cup, every game is 50-50 and you have to fight it out".

But Belgium were so hot against Brazil, when Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku were outstanding, they go into this game against their big brother neighbour as favourites. "The teams who are hard-working, who are compact and united, these are the teams that are still here".

"Glory to Ukraine!" said Domagoj Vida who scored twice in the historic quarterfinal.

"The Ballon d'Or? I don't think about it at all", Modric said. "When you've got all these other teams, France, Belgium, England, that's the top teams from the beginning and we are the underdogs".

"Thank you for the honest, genuine emotions you gave us thoughout the World Cup", they wrote.

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