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Gareth Southgate's young squad became just the third England team to make the semi-finals as they continued to make a mockery of dampened pre-tournament expectations with another impressive display.

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russian Federation, who had equalised late in extra time. Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the centre where unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header.

The Croats hadn't advanced this far at the World Cup since 1998, when the country made its first appearance.

Croatia, a shadow of the team which cruised through their group with maximum points, won the shootout when Ivan Rakitic calmly netted and they will face England in the semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.

Croatia have also now played 120 minutes in each of their past two matches, having never been taken to extra-time previously, while England were able to save key players towards the end of their 2-0 win over Sweden having played 120 themselves against Colombia.

In the quarterfinals match on Saturday night in Sochi, Russia was eliminated from the tournament by Croatia.

Rakitic slotted home the winning kick against Denmark in the last 16 and once again held his nerve to convert from the spot, with Mario Fernandes going from hero to villain by missing from 12 yards after his 115th-minute header had made it 2-2 deep into extra time.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Croatia equalized with Andrej Kramaric's header near halftime.




Russia's Igor Akinfeev during extra time. The host nation lost 4-3 the penalty shootout, which followed 2-2 draw in the regular and 30-minute overtime period. Most certainly a candidate for the best goal of this World Cup.

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.

With home support, Russian Federation have a 12th man that can destabilise the Croatians as it did pre-tournament favourites Spain in the last 16.

Subasic appeared to sustain a hamstring injury when stopping a deflected Aleksandr Erokhin cross go out for a corner, though he recovered to bat away Smolov's drive from an acute angle in stoppage time.

Croatia's Dejan Lovren and Russia's Fyodor Smolov look up at the ball.

- Croatia have now had eight different scorers at the 2018 World Cup - only Belgium (nine) have had more.

After an urgent start from Russia, Croatia had their first chance in the 6th minute but Ante Rebic's free header from a corner just went over the bar.


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