July 7, 2018 5:20 pm

Croatia beat Russia on penalty kicks to join England, France and Belgium in World Cup semis

WATCH: Russian fans react after losing to Croatia in World Cup


Croatia overcame a late injury to goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to defeat Russia on a penalty shootout in the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, ending the host nation’s fairy-tale run while prolonging their own.

Story continues below

It was a dramatic end to a see-saw game that finished 1-1 after the regulation 90 minutes, and 2-2 after extra-time.

READ MORE: England reaches World Cup semifinals for first time since 1990

Russia had opened the scoring in the 31st minute, courtesy a spectacular long-range effort from winger Denis Cheryshev which sent the home fans into delirium. But Croatia made it 1-1 just eight minutes later thanks to a headed goal from striker Andrej Kramaric.

Tied after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time, and Croatia took a big step towards sealing victory after defender Domagoj Vida headed his team 2-1 up from a corner kick.

But with just five minutes remaining, Russia leveled the score thanks to a headed goal of their own, this time from right-back Mario Fernandes.

READ MORE: Belgium dumps Brazil out of World Cup, set up semi-final clash with France

With a penalty shootout looming, there was concern for Croatia as Subasic appeared to be struggling with cramp.

But with no substitutions remaining, Subasic had no choice but to continue, and he got off to a good start, saving the first penalty kick from Russia striker Fedor Smolov.

Fernandes then went from hero to villain, the scorer of the equalizing extra-time goal dragging his penalty kick woefully wide, handing Croatia the advantage.

Real Madrid star Luka Modric, earlier goalscorer Vida and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic all converted their penalty kicks, handing the Croatians a 4-3 win in the penalty shootout.

WATCH: Croatian fans light up island shaped like a heart in support of World Cup team

Croatia’s victory will see them take on England in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Wednesday.

The other semi-final will see France play Belgium.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.