Having to wait for about 20 years, Croatia finally repeat what their previous generation did in 1998, which taking their national football team playing in World Cup final.
Zlatko Dalic’s men were victorious on penalties once again, as they eliminated host nation, Russia on penalty shoot out, the second one for both sides after previously winning their last 16 round via similar situation.
It was another potentially thrilling and tense battle with both sides were very determined in not wasting a precious opportunity to play in the semifinal and maybe even World Cup final.
Either sides started off in a very good tempo as they were keen on getting that early goals to settle all of the nerves.
Eventually, it was Russia that got the break through when a stunning strike by Denis Cheryshev on 31 minutes gave them a 1-0 lead.
That advantage didn’t last too long though as Croatia got back on level terms after Andrej Kramaric finished off a nice assist from Mario Mandzukic on 39 minutes.
Nothing really changed after the break as both teams continue their surge for more goals, but none of them were successful in achieving that mission during that second period, forcing the game to go into 2 x 15 of extra time
During that additional two halves of football, it was the Vatreni’s turn to get themselves in front when Domagoj Vida netted with a fine header to give his side that slender advantage.
Unfortunately, that goal didn’t last until the final whistle as Russia were able to draw level through Mario Fernandes, five minutes from time.
Already experiencing penalty shoot out in previous round, didn’t stop players from both teams getting nervous as some missed their shots again.
Russia in total missed two shots, while their opponent only had one failed taker, pretty much confirming that Croatia were victorious again with the shoot out and booked their ticket into a meeting against England in World Cup 2018 semifinal stage.