Surprise package Russian Federation do Cherchesov proud in World Cup defeat

Dejan Lovren- Dejan Lovren confident Croatia can beat Russia in quarter-final and eclipse 1998 heroes by winning World Cup title

After a 2-2 tie after the extra time, Croatia beat Russian Federation 4-3 in the penalty shootout, entering the World Cup last four for the first time in 20 years and breaking the jinx that they had no win over World Cup hosts after they lost to France in the semifinal in 1998 and Brazil in the opener in 2014.

Croatia is now also the first team to enter the last four stage of a World Cup after surviving two penalty shootouts.

Having knocked out Spain on penalties in the previous round, Russia, 70th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, again defied the odds to take 20th ranked Croatia to a shootout with a 2-2 draw after extra time but on this occasion their marksmanship deserted them. The victor of that game faces England or Croatia in the 2018 World Cup final.

The winners of the last quarter-final will go through to a semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday against England, who beat Sweden 2-0 earlier.

In the second half, the teams they failed to score and the match went into overtime, where the spectators saw two more goals.

Ivan Rakitic scored the victor from the spot as Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev dived in the opposite direction. Domagoj Vida gave Croatia the lead with a header in the 101st minute.

Russian Federation struck first in the 31st minute at Fisht Olympic Stadium on a goal by one of the surprise performers of this year's tournament, Denis Cheryshev.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. That strike was canceled out eight minutes later by a Andrej Kramaric header.

"This was my last World Cup, my last tournament and the last match of my soccer career", Ignashevich said in a video posted on social media.

The giant forward seemed to nearly accidentally touch the ball into the path of Cheryshev and with nearly nowhere to go, the 26-year-old unleashed a thunderous left-footed strike into the top corner to leave Danijel Subasic rooted to the spot and demonstrating exactly why Real Madrid afforded a place in their academy to the player.

Having progressed to the quarter-finals with a penalty shootout win over Denmark in the Round-of-16, Croatia became only the second team in World Cup history to win consecutive shootouts since Argentina in 1990. They are much more potent in attack compared to Spain and could cause Russian Federation trouble with their quick passing game and crosses aimed for Mandzukic.

There were shouts of joy, hundreds of flares were lit and Croatian flags were waved as an estimated 15,000 fans celebrated the win for captain Luka Modric's side win in Zagreb's main square, where they had watched the match on a giant screen.

Most certainly a candidate for the best goal of this World Cup.

An equalizer came eight minutes later when Kutepov was perhaps guilty of not dealing with a through ball which allowed Mandzukic acres of space on the left hand side of the box. That all changed in spectacular style as Cheryshev won the ball in midfield, exchanged a one-two pass with striker Ayrtom Dyzuba before swerving a rocket that dipped into the top corner of the Croatia goal to open the scoring.

After the break Russian Federation was content to play on the counter while Croatia attacked but, for the second consecutive round, both teams would have to play extra time.

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