Croatia set up England semi after pens

Croatia set up England semi after pens


Croatia overcame World Cup hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time to set up a semi-final showdown with England.

Ivan Rakitic struck the crucial spot-kick after Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes failed from the spot for Russia to settle a gritty quarter-final in Sochi on Saturday evening.

Denis Cheryshev’s stunner (31) had earned Russia a first-half lead in front of a boisterous home crowd, but that was cancelled out eight minutes later when Andrej Kramaric headed in.

Domagoj Vida (100) headed Croatia in front in extra-time only for Fernandes to equalise five minutes from the end to take the game to penalties, but Stanislav Chercheshov’s players were unable to replicate their shootout success over Spain and exit their own tournament at the quarter-final stage.

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