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Croatia wins it over Russia on penalties in their quarterfinal match in the 2018 World Cup. Croatia will face England, which beat Sweden earlier in the day, in the semifinal.

• England vs. Sweden: Here’s what happened.

Russia 2 Final 2  Croatia
Croatia advances 3–4 on penalty shootout
    • Mario Fernandes (115′)
    • Denis Cheryshev (31′)


    • Andrej Kramaric (39′)
    • Domagoj Vida (101′)


  • Fedor Smolov
  • Alan Dzagoev
  • Mario Fernandes
  • Sergey Ignashevich
  • Daler Kuziaev
  • Marcelo Brozovic
  • Mateo Kovacic
  • Luka Modric
  • Domagoj Vida
  • Ivan Rakitic

Here’s how Croatia beat Russia:

PK: Russia 3, Croatia 4

GOAL CROATIA! Ivan Rakitic scores to send Croatia to the semifinals!

Croatia piles onto Subasic near the endline in jubilation, just feet away from a devastated Akinfeev, still sitting in the goal mouth. The Russian fans are giving their team a muted standing ovation as their dream run as hosts is officially over.

PK: Russia 3, Croatia 3

GOAL RUSSIA! Daler Kuziaev coolly puts in in the left corner. It all comes down to this next one.

PK: Russia 2, Croatia 3

GOAL CROATIA! Vida cracks it into the left side, as Akinfeev goes the wrong way.

PK: Russia 2, Croatia 2

GOAL RUSSIA! Sergey Ignashevich powers it into the left side.

PK: Russia 1, Croatia 2

GOAL CROATIA! Luka Modric’s barely sneaks in, as Akinfeev got a hand on it to send it off the inside of the right post and in!

PK: Russia 1, Croatia 1

MISS RUSSIA! Mário Fernandes sends it wide left, smashing it low on the ground!

PK: Russia 1, Croatia 1

SAVE RUSSIA! Akinfeev gets down to his left and stops Mateo Kovacic’s roller!

PK: Russia 1, Croatia 1

GOAL RUSSIA! Alan Dzagoev slides it into the lower right corner.

PK: Russia 0, Croatia 1

Marcelo Brozovic blasts it into the upper right corner, past a diving Akinfeev!

PK: Russia 0, Croatia 0

Smolov tries a chip and it’s saved by Subasic’s hand!

The Goal That Got Us Here


Mario Fernandes scores Russia’s second goal. CreditCatherine Ivill/Getty Images

120+1’: Final Whistle

Nearly every player on the field doubles over in exhaustion. Penalties will decide the final semifinalist of this World Cup.

The good news for Croatia: Subasic, as we mentioned before, made three saves in Croatia’s penalty shootout against Denmark in the round of 16.

The bad news: he appears to be on one leg, essentially. And Russia’s ‘keeper, Akinfeev, also made two saves in Russia’s penalty win over Spain.

120’: One More Minute

One minute of added time. But at this pace, we could have, like, four goals in that period.

118’: Russia On Edge

The Russian fans, many in tears or near them just a few minutes ago, have roared to life and are all standing for the final couple minutes of stoppage time. And their team is not satisfied with a tie: Roman Zobnin fizzes a low shot that Subasic scrambles to smother on the left side of the goal


Mário Fernandes with a header to save the host nation!

Russia had a free kick from just outside the right corner of the penalty area after Josip Pivaric’s silly handball. The kick is a beautiful one, curled right to Fernandes, and he thunders it into the left side of the net to send Fisht Stadium into absolute delirium.

113’: Subasic, Again

Subasic again comes up big. Smolov tore down the left side, cuts back with a nice move, then plays a dangerous ball right across the face of goal. But Subasic stretches and just gets a hand on it to swat it out of danger. That hamstring seems like it’s just fine.

112’: Great Save by Subasic!

Russia’s corner kick pops out to Daler Kuziaev just outside the area, who rockets a shot back in. But Subasic, a few yards out after trying to punch the ball away, takes it right in the chest and is able to smother it and end the danger.

109’: Croatia Pushes for Possession

The roles have switched, as expected: Croatia is keeping nine or 10 men behind the ball, whenever possible, and is just trying to break out and keep possession with a couple players whenever they break out of their half.

107’: One More Yellow Card for Russia

Yury Gazinskiy gets the yellow this time.

106’: Russia’s Last Chance

The second period has started, and Russia has 15 minutes, give or take (probably give), to keep its 2018 fairy tale going.

105+2’: All Eyes on Subasic

In the dying seconds of the first extra period, Russia gets a free kick about 35 yards out near the right sideline. Subasic stretches to get his hands on it, then fumbles it amid a scrum, but the referee blows the whistle for a foul on Russia — and then ends the period. Subasic grabs at his leg again, and his status will be something to watch for the final 15 minutes.

105’: Desperation

Russia, as expected, is pushing everything toward the front in a desperate attempt for an equalizer in the last few minutes of this first period of extra time. It won two corner kicks, and got a good look on the second, but neither produced the goal Russia needs.

103’: Worth It

Vida gets a yellow card for taking off his shirt in celebration after the goal, but he likely won’t care (mostly because yellow cards are cleared off the record after the quarterfinals).



Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev watches as Croatia’s Domagoj Vida header crosses the line. CreditCatherine Ivill/Getty Images

Domagoj Vida scores off a corner kick!

Right after Russia had a golden opportunity on a counterattack, Croatia scores a dagger of a goal off a corner kick on the other end. Vida directs a header toward the right corner from the middle of the area, and it sneaks past two Russians and into the net!

99’: Modric Makes His Move

Modric looks like he wants to finish this himself. He made a straightaway run from the center circle toward the penalty area on his own, but he’s tripped up at the last minute with a nice tackle. Not a whole lot of rhythm from these exhausted players in the extra period.

97’: Injury Forces Croatia’s Final Sub

Sime Vrsaljko is out; Vedran Corluka is in.

96’: Croatia is Down a Man

Sime Vrsaljko is limping toward the sideline just four minutes into the first extra period. There wasn’t any apparent contact or rough play on his part, but he’s being looked at off the field while Croatia plays with 10 men for a bit.

94’: Energy Levels Dropping

The Russians fans even seem a little winded. Their bootleg “Viking” chant, borrowed from Iceland’s fans, feels much more lackadaisical here in extra time.

91’: Extra Time Underway

There are 30 minutes for either side to score before penalties. Subasic, by the way, appears to be O.K. and has stayed on despite both teams getting another substitution for extra time.

Will This Moment Decide the Match?


Croatia’s goalkeeper Danijel Subasic receives medical assistance. CreditOdd Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

90+5’: Headed to Extra Time!

Croatia certainly had the better of that second half, especially in the final minutes, but it couldn’t put together the needed finish.

We’ve got 30 more minutes from two teams that look quite tired, and one (Russia) that looks dead-set on bunkering until penalties arrive.

90+4’: Close Call for Croatia

Smolov with a dangerous shot! He had the ball on the right side near the end line, and instead of crossing it he has a go at goal from a tight angle. It’s a bit of a surprise for Subasic, but he knocks it away without much trouble.

90+1’: Russia is Pinned

Croatia trying to force one home in stoppage time. Two corner kicks went to waste, but they’ve got Russia pinned all the way back.

89’: Croatia Has a Problem

Danijel Subasic, the goalkeeper, slid to collect a ball and immediately grimaces and clutches at his hamstring. He looks like he’s in a lot of pain, and Croatia is out of substitutions. They’re desperately trying to loosen him up to avoid putting a field player in goal for the final minutes of regulation.

Subasic stays on, and there’s five minutes of stoppage time.

88’: Croatia Makes Last Sub

Croatia makes its third change, with Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid coming on for Andrej Kramaric, the goalscorer.

87’: The View From England

85’: Free Kick Headed Off

Russia gets a free kick in a dangerous area after Sime Vrsaljko is called for a handball on the left side of the Croatian penalty area. It’s well-placed, but Croatia is able to get a strong head on it and clear.

82’: Uh Oh, Russia?

Aleksandr Erokhin goes down after a hard collision in the Croatian penalty area, which is either a serious problem for Russia, which is out of substitutions, or a convenient opportunity for everyone to take a breather.

79’: Russia Makes Last Sub

Russia uses its final substitution, as Dzyuba’s day is done. He comes off for Iury Gazinsky.

77’: Croatia Attacks

Russia survives a dangerous attack from Croatia! Modric’s slicing run up to the area leads to a chance for Sime Vrsaljko after a couple passes back and forth across the area, but Vrsaljko’s shot is blocked by a defender.

75’: Croatia Change

Ivan Strinic comes off for Josip Pivaric, who plays in Ukraine with Dynamo Kiev.

Checking In on Russia’s Fans


Fans gather in Moscow to watch the World Cup quarter-final between Russia and Croatia.CreditMaxim Zmeyev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

72’: Painful Miss for Russia

A chance for Russia! After a bit of nice possession in the Croatian end, Fernandes floats a cross into Aleksandr Erokhin, who had a good amount of space, but Lovren gets just enough of a challenge to force Erokhin’s header over the bar.

67’: Another Russia Substitution

Fedor Smolov of the Russian club Krasnodar comes on for Denis Cheryshev, who scored Russia’s lone goal.

66’: Croatia is Pushing

Croatia’s tightening the screws on offense a bit, probing and looking for an opening. Russia’s done a good job of clearing it when needed, for the most part, but it’s a one-way game at the moment.

63’: Substitution for Croatia

Croatia making a change: Marcelo Brozovic of Inter Milan comes on for Ivan Perisic just moments after Perisic put the ball off the post.

62’: Easy Save

Dzyuba gets his head on a corner kick on the other end, but can’t get enough power to trouble Subasic, who collects it easily off the bounce.


Ivan Perisic collected a loose ball off a cross in the Russian penalty area, took a touch to give himself a clean look on goal, and then pings it off the inside of the post! Russia gets some serious home-team luck.

57’: Russia Gets Sloppy

Russia isn’t quite Belgium. It had numbers on Croatia on a counter attack, but a couple sloppy passes gives the ball right back to Croatia.

54’: Substitution for Russia

Aleksandr Erokhin of Zenit St. Petersburg is coming on for Aleksandr Samedov.

52’: Kramaric Tries Again

Andrej Kramaric goes for another moment of glory with a bicycle attempt from inside the area. He gets it on target, but it’s no problem for Akinfeev to collect easily.

50’: Wasted Chance

Croatia is resorting to whipping balls in toward Mandzukic in the area, and one squirts through to Rebic. He makes about two feints too many, and wastes the opportunity from about eight yards out.

Croatia’s Fans Are Ready


Croatia’s fans celebrate their first goal in Zagreb, Croatia. CreditAntonio Bronic/Reuters

46’: Second Half Underway

No changes for either team.

Lineup Change Pays Off for Croatia

Croatia’s manager, Zlatko Dalić, gets some credit for his team’s goal. The only change in his starting lineup from the round of 16 win over Denmark was bringing on Andrej Kramaric, a forward, in place of midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

Kramaric, who plays for Hoffenheim in Germany, went on to become Croatia’s seventh player to score in this tournament. Quite the contrast from Russia, which has seven of its goals from two players: Cheryshev (4) and Dzyuba (3).

Halftime: One Moment of Brilliance

That was far from the most exciting half of soccer we’ve seen at the World Cup, but it was punctuated by a brilliant strike from Denis Cheryshev and a poor moment of defense from Russia that led to Kramaric’s goal. Croatia has looked more threatening, but it may take some adjustments to break down Russia’s defense in the second half.

Croatia has one shot on target, and one goal. Russia also has one shot on target, and one goal. Pretty much sums up that first half.

45’: Good Luck Getting Another Goal

With the score tied again, the game’s devolved back into what it was before Cheryshev’s goal: stiff defensive play and little by way of chances on goal for either team. Two minutes of stoppage time are added to the first half.

39’: GOAL Croatia!


Andrej Kramaric scores the first goal for Croatia. CreditCatherine Ivill/Getty Images

Andrej Kramaric heads Croatia level!

Mandzukic collected the ball behind the Russian defense on the left side and had a clear run into the penalty area, where he played a simple little chip right to Kramaric’s head to knock in past Akinfeev from about 5 yards. Russia’s defense was caught completely out of position on that, and Sochi has gotten significantly quieter.

38’: Another Yellow

This time it’s for Ivan Strinic of Croatia.

38’: Russia Roars

The crowd was never out of it, exactly, even as the game lulled, but they’re back to full-throated support in Sochi. Their Russian team has responded well after the goal, too, getting the ball back into the Croatian end a couple times in the last three or four minutes.

35’: First Yellow Card: Croatia

Dejan Lovren gets a yellow card for tackling.

34’: Surprise for Russia

That was … unexpected, both considering the talent disparities between these teams and the way the first 30 minutes of this game played out. But Russia got exactly what it wanted: the first goal against the run of play, and now the red shirts will cluster even tighter around the Russian net.



Russia’s Denis Cheryshev scores their first goal. CreditChristian Hartmann/Reuters

Denis Cheryshev out of nowhere!

He plays a seemingly innocuous give-and-go with Dzyuba about 35 yards out, then takes a touch on the return pass and rips a near-perfect shot from about 25 yards out into the upper-left corner of the net.

27’: Possession Edge Goes to Croatia

Croatia has 64 percent of the possession so far, but aside from a slightly frenetic first six minutes or so, it hasn’t been able to turn it into many opportunities. Russia’s players are content to pack their defense around their area, then send a long ball toward Dzyuba’s general area when they win possession.

20’: Croatia’s Offense Struggles

This game has settled into a bit of a sluggish rhythm, with Russia sitting back and absorbing Croatia’s forays. The Croatian offense has struggled to find many lanes the last few minutes, and Russia is focused on trying to spring Dzyuba on a counterattack any chance they get.

16’: Croatia Gets Free Kick

Rebic gets dragged down just a couple yards outside the left corner of the penalty area, giving Croatia a dangerous free kick. But Ivan Rakitic sends his shot well high.

12’: Missed Opportunity

Mandzukic gets a great opportunity off a cross near the six-yard box, but he can’t make good contact and his shot goes well wide. The field has tilted a bit in Croatia’s favor the last few minutes.

7’: Russia’s Goalkeeper Tested

Rebic forces Akinveev into his first save right away at the other end, sending a hard pass into the middle from near the goal, but the Russian goalkeeper gets his hands on it and knocks it out of bounds. Rebic gets a head on the ensuing corner kick as well, but it goes a couple feet high. Plenty of offense so far in this one.

5’: Early Danger for Russia

Aleksandr Golovin produces another dangerous moment for Russia, with a good hustle play to win the ball before it went across the end line and send it into the area, where Dzyuba gets a powerful foot on the ball. But it blasts off a Croatian defender’s back and out.

2’: Pressing Early

Russia with an early chance, as Dzyuba feeds a sprinting Cheryshev in the area, but Cheryshev scuffs his shot and it goes out for a goal kick. Plenty of pressing from both sides early.

1’: Kickoff!

We’re underway, with a spot in the World Cup semifinals on the line: Russia’s in red, and Croatia, disappointingly, is in dark blue instead of its classic white and red.

HT: nytimes

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