England, Croatia end long wait for semi-final spot

England, Croatia end long wait for semi-final spot

This time, they will face a resurgent England side in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on July 12 (Singapore time).

- Russian Federation are the first host country to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup since Mexico in 1986. Harry Maguire and Dele Alli were on target for England with two headers.

Russian Federation became the third World Cup hosts to have their tournament end on penalties, after Mexico in the 1986 quarterfinals and Italy in the 1990 semifinals.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic also makes one change to his team following the win on penalties against Denmark in the round of 16. Both Luca Modric & Ivan Rakitic didn't see enough of the ball against Denmark, and the Croatia boss may instruct his star midfielders to drop slightly deeper to start to dictate the play.

The Croatians' memorable run to the semifinals in 1998 remains a moment of pride for the country.

Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic once again came up big, making some big saves in regulation, one after getting injured, and saving Russia's first penalty kick.

The teams then went back and forth in regulation, and neither could find the victor, sending the game into extra time.

They have not had much luck previously, however, with a 2-1 defeat against France in the semifinals in 1998 being followed by a 3-1 loss to Brazil in the Opening Match of the 2014 edition.

India eye top ODI spot in series against England
Considering the start England had, with Jos Buttler and Jason Roy racing to 94/0 inside eight overs, the pressure was on India . In a knock that didn't even last half of England's innings, Roy equalled the England record for most sixes: seven.

Andrej Kramaric replied for the Croats five minutes before halftime with a power header inside the box following a delicate cross from Mario Mandzukic. Mario Mandzukic was allowed to carry the ball into the box and with Russian defenders backing off, and the Juventus forward found Krammaric with a ideal low cross which the Hoffenheim striker nodded beyond Akinfeev to silence the hostile home crowd.

"I think we are underdogs from Day 1 and it's good for us", Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said.

After Fernandes' failure, Modric got lucky when his strike found the net following touches off Akinfeev's glove and the post.

Penalties were required and while Smolov's feeble Panenka attempt with the first effort was foiled by Subasic, parity was restored when Akinfeev got down to his left to keep out Mateo Kovacic's second kick for Croatia.

Croatia have scored as many goals in four matches at this year's World Cup (8) as they did in six games in their previous two World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2014 combined.

However, Croatia's lead lasted only 14 minutes as Fernandes met a free-kick just from the edge of the box on the right with a header to beat Subasic as the match needed a penalty shootout to decide the victor.

"We have to improve that element as we conceded there today", Modric said, referring to Russia's late 2-2 equalizer which sent up the penalties.

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