Russia is knocked out of World Cup by Croatia after showing fight no one imagined

Russia is knocked out of World Cup by Croatia, after showing fight no one imagined

Notable: This is Russias first quarterfinal match since 1970.

Another drama for us, Modric said. We showed the character again.

Croatia has spent a ton of time on the field in these past two games, and its starting to show. It was temporarily down a man while Sime Vrsaljko received treatment after it looked like he tweaked something there was no contact, but he grimaced as he made a pass before calling the trainer over. Croatia eventually had to use its bonus-time substitution to get him off the field.

One fans gift to

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Kuziaevs easy kick to the left puts all the pressure on Croatia.

Croatias breakthrough finally came 11 minutes into extra time when Domagoj Vida headed Modrics corner kick through a tangle of players and into the right side of the net.

Can Russia make a comeback?

This is the 1st World Cup match since Spain vs South Korea in the 2002 quarters in which two teams went to extra time after each played an extra-time match in the previous round.

Well, that came out of nowhere. After something of a slow match so far, Russia pounces when Denis Cheryshev scores his fourth goal of the World Cup following a crafty run. A powerful shot puts Russia on top.

Croatia came so close to scoring its second goal when Ivan Perisic curled a good-looking ball into the bottom of the post before skittering across the face of the goal without crossing the line. What a lucky break for Russia.

This ride ended at sold-out Fisht Stadium, but not before the Russians went ahead in the first half on a magnificent goal by Denis Cheryshev, his fourth of the tournament. Croatia drew even before intermission and took the lead in extra time, but Russia forced the tiebreaker when Mario Fernandes, a Brazilian-born naturalized citizen, scored with about five minutes left.

Brozovic high and to the right, past the keeper that guessed correctly.

He joins Argentinas Sergio Goycochea and West Germanys Harald Schumacher as the only keepers to stop 4 shots inWorldCuppenalty m/JvIofiM4iq

Mario Fernandes gets his noggin on a free kick to send the ball to the left edge of the goal to even things up. Somehow, these tired players will go on.

Perisics shot from close range hits the inside of the post but somehow stays

And despite the elation that came with Russias equalizer, everyone on the pitch just kind of stands there as extra time runs out. So. Very. Tired.

Thatll be it for regulation. On to extra time.

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The keeper guesses wrong and Dzagoev sends one low and to the right.

Hes the sixth player to score at least 4 goals for Russia in a single World Cup and the first since Oleg Salenko had 6 in 1994, which is the team

What the host country did not expect not in its kookiest dreams was being in position to rally behind its low-ranked national team for more than a few matches.

MOSCOW For a month of spellbinding soccer, Russia has wrapped its arms around this big, beautifulWorld Cupand celebrated the sport from the Baltic to the Pacific and in 11 host cities.

This is the first time theres been a game-tying goal in extra time at the World Cup since the 1994 quarterfinals, when Sweden came back to tie Romania at 2 and advance on

[Complete quarterfinal and semifinal bracket]

[Englands unexpected rise reaches World Cup semifinals, and its fans chorus grows louder]

Along the way, however, a lightly talented squad that many feared would not even survive the group stage galvanized the country and destroyed expectations, falling one step short of the Soviet Unions 1966 ride to the final four.

Denis Cheryshev scores his fourth goal of this World Cup to giveRUSa 1-0 lead.

After all this time, Croatia is headed to the semifinals! Rakitic has the keeper going the wrong way and sends the ball left.

As if the Russian fans needed any more excitement, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin brought the Stanley Cup to the fan festival before the match. The Washington Posts Isabelle Khurshudyan was on the (hectic) scene.

Previous results: Defeated Saudi Arabia, 5-0. Defeated Egypt, 3-1. Lost to Uruguay, 3-0. Defeated Spain in the round of 16 in a penalty shootout, 4-3, after drawing 1-1.

The score reflects just how balanced this game has been, with Russias prolific Cheryshev and Croatias Kramaric providing the difference-makers so far. In fact, those two provided the only shots on goal weve seen in this match. We might be in for a lengthy one in Sochi.

Cheryshev made things more uncomfortable for Croatia in the 31st minute by striking a 25-yard shot into the top left corner.

One change per side: Russia replaced Yuri Zhirkov with Denis Cheryshev, and Croatia put Andrej Kramaric in for Marcelo Brozovic.

MundialTelemundo¡Que siga la ilusin!@Cheryshevanota un verdadero golazo y pone a soñar a todaRUS. As lo narra ?

Russia and Croatia head to extra time tied at 1 in the final quarterfinal match of thisWorldCup.

Mario Fernandes scores for Russia to tie the game at 2!

Russia played with greater ambition than it did against technically superior Spain, abandoning airtight defensive tactics for a style more conducive to attacking the Croatians.

They surprised us, Modric said. They pressed us high, and we could not build up our play. Our style was cramped.

After Russia misses on the other end, Croatia streaks down the field and scores off a corner kick! Its a header from Domagoj Vida, who strips his shirt off in celebration and consequently receives a yellow card.

Subasic swats away Smolovs slow attempt with his left palm.

[Complete quarterfinal and semifinal bracket]

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero of the shootout against Spain, but in this one, his save in the second round wasnt enough. Croatia converted its last three chances to set up the showdown with England.

Croatia answered eight minutes later, traversing the field in short order and capitalizing on space left by Fernandes on the flank. Mario Mandzukic infiltrated the penalty area and crossed to Andrej Kramaric for a seven-yard header.

In the shootout, however, Fernandes missed the target in the third round, clearing the way for Croatia to become the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win consecutive matches on penalty kicks. As he did against Denmark, Croatias Ivan Rakitic sealed the victory by converting in the fifth round.

Fernandes drags his penalty wide and to the left.

We said we could only prove our worth by working hard, Coach Stanislav Cherchesov said of his overachievers. The people did not only start trusting us, but they are in love with us. The entire country is in love with us. They know what the national team is worth. We hope we have changed the situation for the better.

Best World Cup finish: Semifinal, 1998.

MundialTelemundo¡Esto an no acaba! Mario Fernandes devuelve a la pelea aRUSy la emocin no se hace esperar . As lo narra ?

Moments after Croatias goal, Russia gets a corner kick of its own, which Yerokhin heads right.

Croatia controlled most of the second half, pinning back the Russians for long stretches. Ivan Perisic almost cracked the deadlock with an eight-yard bid that struck the inside of the left post.

For the second game in a row, Rakitic wins the penalty shootout for /H3aH1Em3DP

Kramaric equalizes for Croatia!

Ignashevich batters his penalty into the bottom left. Subasic went the wrong way.

This Russian team won its first two games easily in securing passage to the round of 16, thenupset Spain on penalty kicks.

This is

FIFA world ranking: 70. Elo world ranking: 41.

Russia had won all of two matches in its previous three World Cup appearances, falling short of advancing to the knockout stage, and it failed to qualify for the tournament altogether three other times in that stretch.

Previous results: Defeated Nigeria, 2-0. Defeated Argentina, 3-0. Defeated Iceland, 2-1. Defeated Denmark in the round of 16 in a penalty shootout, 3-2, after drawing 1-1.

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Croatian goalkeeper Danjiel Subasic has stopped 4 penalties in Croatias 2 penalty shootout wins at this World Cup.

Russia was done, or so it seemed. Inspired by the audience, it responded in the 115th minute when Fernandes was left unmarked at the six-yard box and nodded in Alan Dzagoevs free kick.

This was not a beautiful game; it was a battle, said Coach Zlatko Dalic, who was left in tears at the end of the moving night.

Russia is knocked out of World Cup by Croatia after showing fight no one imagined

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This might be trouble for Croatia. Just before stoppage time, keeper Danijel Subasic looked like he suffered a hamstring cramp, and Croatia is out of substitutes. Subasic played on after a visit from the trainer, but that could spell bad news as this match appears headed for extra time, and perhaps a penalty shootout.

On Saturday in Sochi, the hosts were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Croatia on penalty kicks, 4-3, after a 2-2 draw that included goals by both sides in the 30 minutes of extra time.

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Croatia is holding the ball 66 percent of the time and doing not a whole lot with it, but at least Russia is taking advantage of its touches. Aleksandr Yerokhin sent a header just over the bar in Russias last attack, but its good for the host nation that its being aggressive.

Croatia take the lead in extra time!

The Russian keeper gets a hand on Modrics penalty but pushes it into the post and it careens in.

FIFA world ranking: 20. Elo world ranking: 6.

The Russians have a free kick a few yards away from the left corner of the box, but Golovins header is cleared. We continue apace, with five minutes to go.

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Croatias hobbled keeper, who appears to be dealing with a hamstring issue, nonetheless hangs onto what couldve easily been a goal. He punches away another one just moments later!

In phone calls before and after the match, Cherchesov said, President Vladimir Putin offered words of support.

Best World Cup finish: Fourth place, 1966.

Weve achieved something big, but this team can achieve more, midfielder Luka Modric said. We want to bring a medal home. What is on that medal, well see.

The real World Cup losers: The Russian people

After logging 120 minutes in back-to-back games, the exhausted Croatians will be at a disadvantage in Wednesdays semifinal against England at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The last time they made the final four was 1998 in France, their first appearance since gaining independence following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Russian fans celebrate their team after Denis Cheryshev scored the opening goal of the quarterfinal against Croatia. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Notable: Croatias best finish came at the first World Cup it ever qualified for.

Game on. Croatia equalizes eight minutes later when it catches the Russian defense snoozing and Andrej Kramaric sends a header dead-on into the goal.

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