England and Croatia on Saturday defeated their opponents, Sweden and Russia, to advance to the semi-final stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Just like in their Round of 16 games, Russia and Croatia failed to settle the score during the regular and 30-minute overtime period of their quarterfinal clash.
The Croatian players were quick to take the initiative in the game and by the middle of the first half they registered the ball possession at almost 70% against Russia’s slim 30% However, it was Russia’s Denis Cheryshev to cannon a clear shot in one of the counter attacks into the upper corner of the Croatian net to open the score on the 31st minute of the game. The Croatian team responded on the 39th minute of the game with a sharp header from forward Andrej Kramaric.
The draw of 1-1 remained flashing on the scoreboard as both teams retreated for the 15-minute break ahead of the second half.
The second half saw various acute attacks both on the Russia and Croatian goals, but despite five minutes of the added time the match ended with the 1-1 draw going into the overtime to decide the team for the semifinals round.
In the opening 15-minute stretch of the overtime, Croatia’s defender Domagoj Vida headed a ball into the direction of the Russian goal from a corner kick and it bounced off the grass going into the net making it impossible for Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akenfeev to save it. The score went up to 2-1 and stayed unaltered deep into the second half of the overtime period, when Croatia’s defender Josip Pivaric was flashed a yellow card for tipping the ball with a hand.
In the following free kick Russia utilized its opportunity with Mario Fernandes putting a netter past Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to tie the score at 2-2.
During the following penalty shootout Croatia was successful to edge Russia 4-3.