World Cup: Russia v Croatia

Can the hosts surprise the world again and take a place in the last four?

Patrick Madden Sat, Jul 7
 
LIVE: World Cup: Russia v Croatia

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  • 18:33

    Good evening!

    Welcome to our coverage of Russia's quarter-final clash with Croatia in Sochi (kick-off 7.0).

    The hosts are on the brink of history, and a place in the semi-finals. The lowest ranked side heading into the World Cup, Stanislav Cherchesov's have massively exceeded expectations - already equalling their best performance at the tournament in nearly 50 years.

    They have been full of running and defensively stubborn, while posing an edge up front - but Croatia present a serious challenge today.

    The Croats were arguably the team of the tournament in the group stages, with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic leading Argentina a merry dance as they thrashed them 3-0. However, they were laboured against Denmark - needing penalties to limp into the last eight.

    For both sides, this is a golden opportunity. Win at the Fisht Stadium tonight and they play England for a place in the World Cup final. As incentives go, that's a pretty good one.

    We'll be bringing you all of the action, as the semi-final jigsaw is completed.

    Come on!!!

  • 18:37

    TEAM NEWS:


    Russia: Akinfeev; Kudryashov, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Fernandes; Kuzyaev, Zobni; Cheryshev, Golovin, Samedov; Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Gazinsky, Dzagoev, Smolov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Zhirkov, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov.


    Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic; Mandzukic. Subs: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Brozovic, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric, Lovre Kalinic.


    Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil).

  • 18:41
  • 18:45

    A change apiece for each team tonight. Denis Cheryshev replaces the injured Yuri Zhirkov for Russia - he's had an excellent tournament thus far, scoring three times.

    For Croatia, Andrej Kramaric replaces Marcelo Brozovic - he will line up off Mandzukic in a 4-2-3-1, with Modric and Rakitic running things in midfield.

  • 18:45
    15 mins until kick-off!
  • 18:54

    If Croatia repeat their performance from the last-16 then the hosts will fancy their chances tonight - however you fancy them to be a lot fresher tonight.

    The teams are out.

  • 18:58
    A predictably hearty rendition of the Russian national anthem.
  • 19:00
    Tonight's ref is Brazil's Sandro Ricci.
  • 19:01

    Russia in red, Croatia in their brilliant black and dark blue strip.

    BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

  • 19:02
    1 min: A frenetic start, Russia pressing and looking busy - two red shirts attacking every ball.
  • 19:04
    2 min: Very energetic start from the hosts. Golovin finds the big man Dzyuba down the right - he looks for Cheryshev in the box who's run wide - offside flag was up.
  • 19:06
    5 min: It's all Russia so far. Golovin chases to the byline and hooks a great ball back into the box towards Cheryshev. It's headed as far as Dzyuba whose volley goes for a corner off Lovren. Croatia will be hoping to ride this out and get settled on the ball.
  • 19:08

    6 min: First glimpse for Croatia - Vrsaljko finds Rebic in the box. He turns one way and bounces Kudryashov, before drilling a low cross which Akinfeev turns behind for a corner.

    Kramaric heads over from the set-piece.

  • 19:09
    8 min: Croatia now settled on the ball, Modric and Rakitic beginning to cast their spell. Jeers ring around Sochi.
  • 19:10
    10 MIN: RUSSIA 0 CROATIA 0
  • 19:12
    10 min: Croatia have braved that very early storm. Perisic earns a corner on the left which is headed away at the near post. Russia look to break but Strinic tracks and covers well.
  • 19:13
    11 min: First real chance - Rebic finds Mandzukic unmarked in the box but he makes a hash of his first-time effort.
  • 19:16
    13 min: Russia feeding off scraps - Dzyuba chases a long ball down the left and looks for support but a ball across goal is too big for Golovin.
  • 19:17
    15 min: Croatia have a free-kick in a very dangerous spot after Rebic - who's started brightly - is fouled. Rakitic to take   - but he curls it miles over. Waste.
  • 19:20
    18 min: Russia still harrying and pressing gamely but Croatia are keeping the ball well. They have a bit more zip about them than Spain, who made 1,200 passes against Russia but barely created a chance.
  • 19:20
    20 MIN: RUSSIA 0 CROATIA 0
  • 19:24
    22 min: Russia are looking more settled now after that spell of Croatian dominance - they're still not seeing much of the ball though.
  • 19:25
    24 min: Little in the way of chances at the moment.
  • 19:27
    26 min: Russia sitting. Croatia enjoying ownership of the ball. They're still looking for that killer pass though. Russia will be looking to take them as deep as possible here.
  • 19:30
    28 min: Vrsaljko crosses from the right and the gangly Perisic stoops to head, flicking it a yard beyond the far post.
  • 19:31
    29 min: Chance for Russia with a free-kick wide on the left. Cheryshev swings it in and Subasic looks in danger for a second, but claims the ball under the bar comfortably enough.
  • 19:31
    30 MIN: RUSSIA 0 CROATIA 0
  • 19:32

    GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 0 (CHERYSHEV 32 MIN)

  • 19:34

    He's done it again!!! Cheryshev bursts from deep and plays it to Dzyuba who returns the pass. Cheryshev takes one touch onto his deadly left and whips a stunning, dipping finish into the top left corner. Subasic was rooted to the spot. We have a game.

    33 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROTIA 0

  • 19:37

    35 min: Just when you think this World Cup can't get any better it serves up something like that. Magic.

    Russia look to break and Lovren is booked for a foul on halfway.

  • 19:38
    36 min: Russia are relentless in their pressing. Dzyuba sets off to chase one down the left like a cruise-liner pulling out of the harbour but draws a free-kick.
  • 19:39
    38 min: Samedov tracks and then megs Strinic on the right - the Croatian defender earns a booking for pulling him back.
  • 19:40

    GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1 (KRAMARIC 40 MIN)

  • 19:42

    Croatia are level out of nowhere. Perisic plays it down the left for Mandzukic who carries and clips a cross back for Kramaric, who stoops and heads it beyond Akinfeev into the far corner.

    41 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

  • 19:43
    42 min: Perisic brings down Fernandes on the right and Russia have a free-kick, which Cheryshev lofts into the box. The ball is headed back in towards Dzyuba who gets pinged for a push.
  • 19:47
    45 min: Cheryshev has been a constant threat and he nearly gets beyond Vrsaljko on the left - good recovery from the Atletico Madrid fullback.
  • 19:48
    HT: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1
  • 19:48
    A fascinating opening 45 minutes in Sochi.
  • 20:03
    The teams are back out for the second half.
  • 20:04
    We're back underway!
  • 20:07
    47 min: Golovin turns Modric on halfway and draws the foul. Even stevens since the break.
  • 20:09
    49 min: Croatia now humming again after the interval, keeping the ball smartly. It falls for Kramaric at the back post but he takes far too much time over his shot and it's easily blocked.
  • 20:09
    50 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1
  • 20:12
    52 min: Croatia penning Russia in a bit now - great harrying from Rebic down the left and his cross is only half cleared. It falls for Kramaric on the edge wiht his back to goal - his overhead kick is straight at Akinfeev.
  • 20:14
    54 min: A first change for Russia, Aleksandr Erokhin on for Samedov.
  • 20:16
    55 min: Neat from Modric on the right and he slides in Vrsaljko who loses the ball. Russia break - there's huge surge of anticipation as Cheryshev gets on it - but Perisic covers well and does enough to force him into a loose pass.
  • 20:20
    59 min: Croatia hit the post! Modric switches it to Strinic on the left, whose deep cross towards the back post is hooked back into danger by Kramaric. Russia can't clear their lines and it falls for Perisic, who has plenty of time to take a touch and shoot towards the bottom left corner - it his the inside of the woodwork and bobbles to safety. That looked in.
  • 20:21
    60 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1
  • 20:21
    62 min: Russian corner from the right. Dzyuba jumps highest despite being fouled by Lovren - his header is easy for Subasic.
  • 20:22
    63 min: And now a change for Croatia - Brozovic on for Perisic.
  • 20:23
    64 min: Strinic bursts into the box but can't pick out the unmarked Kramaric. Chances coming for Croatia now, Modric ticking.
  • 20:25
  • 20:26

    66 min: Sharp ball from Modric into Rakitic whose touch lets him down on the edge.

    Cheryshev is coming off for Russia, replaced by Fyodor Smolov.

  • 20:29
    70 MN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1
  • 20:31
    71 min: Croatia still dominating possession but they're struggling to get through the red wall. Rakitic nd Modric have moved a bit further forward, looking to scheme between the lines.
  • 20:32
    72 min: Good play from Russia and they really stretch Croatia - eventually Erokhin heading over unmarked. This smells like penalties.
  • 20:36
    75 min: Croatia break through Modric who dances towards the box and looks to slide in Kramaric. He stands it up to Mandzukic at the back post - great header down for Modric on his left but the ball just won't drop for him.
  • 20:39
    79 min: Dzyuba now takes his leave, replaced by Gazinsky, who scored the tournament's opening goal against Saudi Arabia.
  • 20:40
    80 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1
  • 20:43
    83 min: Neat from Modric on the right - the old warhorse Ignashevich does well to head his cross clear. One chance will be enough here - neither side look too likely to create one.
  • 20:44

    84 min: Golovin looks to play the ball beyond the covering Vrsaljko, who handles it.

    Free-kick for Russia on the left, Croatia's line very deep. Golovin to whip it in - Mandzukic clears.

  • 20:47
    86 min: Deafening whistles in Sochi as Croatia keep the ball, but they're very deep. Erokhin flicks a cross behind for a Croatian corner - they get peanlised after Lovren fouls in the box.
  • 20:47
    88 min: Goalscorer Kramaric is replaced by Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic.
  • 20:50
    89 min: Brozovic turns an Erokhin cross towards Subasic. The Croatian 'keeper starts screaming and holding his hamstring. He's getting treatment and is going to continue - will Russia have chance to test him?
  • 20:50

    90 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

    Five minutes added time!

  • 20:52
    92 min: Excellent run from Modric into the Croatia box and he wins a corner. It's taken quickly to Rebic, who earns another corner - but Russia are alert when they try to repeat the trick.
  • 20:54
    94 min: Smolov thrashes a ball across goal from a tight angle which Subasic has to parry back out.
  • 20:55

    FT: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

    WE'RE GOING TO EXTRA TIME!

  • 21:00

    A second consecutive extra-time slog for these two teams. This seems destined to go to pens.

    We're back underway!

  • 21:02
    ET 1 min: An early Russian corner from the right and Golovin drills it in - there's brief panic in the box but Croatia hack it clear.
  • 21:05
    ET 3 min: Russia are looking the more sprightly of the two teams - although Modric still looks to have plenty of running in him. Croatia need to make a change, Vrsaljko signalling to the bench. He's limped off for some treatment.
  • 21:07
    ET 6 min: Croatia make that change - veteran Vedran Corluka replaces him.
  • 21:08
    ET 7 min: Another fine run from deep from Modric, piercing through the Russian midfield, but he's snuffed out on the edge.
  • 21:10
    ET 9 min: A mistake from Lovren and Russia are in - Golovin tries to slide in Smolov who hits the deck as Lovren looks to get back to cover. The ref isn't interested.
  • 21:11

    GOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 2 (VIDA ET 10 MIN)

  • 21:12

    Croatia have one foot in the World Cup semi-finals. There's a corner from the right and it comes to Vida, who heads towards the far corner. Somehow the ball makes it through a forest of bodies and nestles in the corner with Akinfeev stranded.

    ET 12 MIN: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 2

  • 21:14
    ET 13 min: Alan Dzagoev is on as Russia desperately look for an equaliser. His first act is to swing in a deep cross from a free-kick whish is turned behind for a corner.
  • 21:15
    ET 14 min: Russia have three corners in quick succession - Erokhin flicks a header beyond everyone and out for a goal kick. Lovren is having to take Subasic's goal kicks for him.
  • 21:18
    ET 17 min: Patient play from Russia and Dzagoev wins a free-kick. He delivers it to the back post where Subasic drops the ball and crashes to the deck. The ref, predictably, gives the goalkeeper the benefit of the doubt.
  • 21:19
    ET HT: RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 2
  • 21:21
    And we're back underway - 15 minutes for Russia to save themselves.
  • 21:23
    ET 16 min: Excellent pressing from Modric, closing down Ignashevich and chasing the ball into the corner. He keeps it in play but has no support - the rest of the Croatian side are dead on their feet.
  • 21:24
    ET 18 min: Mandzukic breaks for Croatia and Gazinsky has a nibble on halfway, earning a booking.
  • 21:26
    ET 19 min: Clash in the air between Kudryashov and Kovacic, the latter earning a free-kick near the touchline. Rebic then crosses from the left - easy for Akinfeev.  
  • 21:27
    ET 20 min: Russia corner from the left after a good burst from Zobnin. Subasic flaps at it and it falls for Kuziaev - he connects well with his volley but Subasic somehow manages to hold onto it first time.
  • 21:29
    ET 23 min: Russia work it well down the left through Kudryashov who finds Smolov. He turns the sliding Vida and clips it across goal where Subasic again parries it away.
  • 21:30
    ET 24 min: Pivaric handles deliberately on the edge of his own box - Russia have a free-kick right on the edge. Dzagoev to take. . .
  • 21:30

    GOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

    RUSSIA 2 CROATIA 2 (FERNANDES ET 25 MIN)

  • 21:32

    They've done it!!! Dzagoev opts to clip the free-kick into the box and Fernandes rises to meet it, flicking a brilliant header into the far corner. Sochi goes absoltely mental. Wow.

    ET 26 MIN: RUSSIA 2 CROATIA 2

  • 21:34
    ET 28 min: Croatia have looked dead on their feet for a while now - Russia still fill of running. They press in the left corner and Croatia can't clear - Zobnin drills a low shot which Subasic manages to hold on to.
  • 21:36
    ET 30 min: Russia with one of their trademark breaks - it won't quite fall for Gazinsky. A mad, stretched end to the game.
  • 21:37

    ET FT: RUSSIA 2 CROATIA 2

    WE'RE GOING TO PENALTIES!

  • 21:42
    Right then, here we go. Russia to take first - and it's Smolov.
  • 21:44

    Smolov has to wait to take is penalty as there's no ball. . .

    He took Russia's first against Spain.

    SAVED! Smolov tries to dink it down the middle and Subasic checks and saves.

    RUSSIA 0 CROATIA 0

  • 21:45

    Brozovic for Croatia...

    SCORES! Smashes it into the right corner beyond Akinfeev.

    RUSSIA 0 CROATIA 1

  • 21:45

    Dzagoev for Russia.

    SCORES! Calmly slotted into the bottom right corner.

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

  • 21:46

    Kovacic for Croatia.

    SAVED!!! He goes for the bottom right and Akinfeev turns it around the post.

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

  • 21:47

    Fernandes for Russia.

    MISSED!!! He drags it a mile wide of the left post.

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 1

  • 21:48

    Now it's Modric.

    SCORES! That is so, so lucky. Akinfeev gets a hand on the ball, it hits the inside of the post and creeps in in the opposite corner.

    RUSSIA 1 CROATIA 2

  • 21:48

    Ignashevich for Russia.

    SCORES! Great pen into the bottom left.

    RUSSIA 2 CROATIA 2

  • 21:49

    Vida for Croatia.

    SCORES! Great pen, sends the 'keeper the wrong way.

    RUSSIA 2 CROATIA 3

  • 21:50

    Kuziaev has to score for Russia.

    SCORES! Good pen into the bottom left.

    RUSSIA 3 CROATIA 3

  • 21:51

    Rakitic to send Croatia into the semi-finals.

    SCORES!!! Sends it into the bottom left.

    RUSSIA 3 CROATIA 4

  • 21:51
    CROATIA WILL PLAY ENGLAND IN THE WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS!
  • 21:53

    Right, thanks for joining today. I'll see you on Tuesday as France play Belgium, before Croatia meet England on Wednesday night.


    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!