Croatia ready for England in spite of extended matches

Russia players celebrate

Russia have defied all expectations Credit reuters

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.

Croatia, for whom Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida had earlier found the net, advance to their first World Cup semi-final since 1998.

Spain had a staggering 75 percent possession but found no way past Russia's hard-working defence, bowing out when keeper Igor Akinfeev saved two spot kicks in the shoot-out.

After such tight matches, it is easy to forget that Croatia produced a feast of attacking play to destroy Lionel Messi's Argentina 3-0 in the group phase. More importantly, they know how to use this advantage to great effect.

Despite defeat, the home fans broke into heartfelt applause as they cheered their beaten side long and loud after the final whistle in recognition of their achievements against the odds. "I think for a country like Croatia it is impressive and we want to keep going further", said Rakitic. That's not how Croatia play.

Croatia earned their shot at England after beating hosts Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties after the match was tied 2-2 after extra-time as Denis Cheryshev and Mario Fernandes traded goals with Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida.

"We're excited for Wednesday now - looking forward to it and we're trying to prepare as much as we can". We have to repeat what we have been doing in the last four games, be well organised and defend well.

"But now, I pray and I would give anything in the world that this squad eventually "confines us to history".

According to earlier reports, Macron will visit Russian Federation to attend the semifinal match between France and Belgium on July 10. It was a blunder of epic proportions that cost Uruguay the match when Fernando's deflection from Dele Ali landed in the goal instead of clearing the field, gifting France the second goal.

Here is how the players prepared for their semi-finals. Fernandinho's own goal and Kevin De Bruyne got their names on the board in the 13th and 31st minutes, respectivelywhile Renato Augusto of Brazil scored at 76 minutes.

They can, however, be proud of their efforts, with a run to the last eight exceeding expectations for a side written off as no-hopers before the tournament. But he saved fantastically the first shot in the shootout.

The victory overwhelmed Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who cried after Rakitic's winning penalty.

Ahead of their biggest game in a generation, Southgate has told his players the next few days can change their lives for ever.

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