Hope you had fun watching the game and enjoying our coverage. Bring on the semi-finals.
SEMI-FINALS: Belgium will face France at St Petersberg at 10th July.
England and Croatia battle it out for a place in the final on 11th July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
CROATIA BEAT RUSSIA What high-quality drama yet again. From scoring an unstoppable header deep into extra-time, Fernandes skewed a penalty horribly wide. It was another heart-stopping encounter, as if we haven’t mentioned that enough. Rakitic once again showed nerves of steel, calmly dispatching the final spot-kick home to take his side to the semi-finals for the second time.
Russia got plenty of flak before the tournament started. But they have proved their naysayers wrong despite stumbling across a slew of hurdles. Croatia have lived up to their hype but once again, were a bit sluggish in attack. Russia’s run will be remembered, and so will Cheryshev’s goal. Subasic will go down in history books. He has now saved four penalties in the tournament and has seen one go wide of his post. Bring on the semi-finals.
CROATIA WIN THE SHOOTOUT 4-3! Once again, Rakitic steps up and coolly dispatches the ball home. Akinfeev went to the left and the ball clipped the bottom corner. Croatia will meet England and become the first team after Argentina to win back-to-back shootouts.
RUSSIA 3-3 CROATIA (Kuziaev) That was also a calm one under the circumstances. Subasic went the other way
RUSSIA 2-3 CROATIA (Vida) The defender finds the net once again. The ball hits the roof of the net. It’s sudden death for the hosts.
RUSSIA 2-2 CROATIA (Ignashevich) Cool penalty from the veteran to keep his team alive in the shootout.
RUSSIA 1-2 CROATIA (Modric) Akinfeev saved it but the ball somehow squirmed underneath the goalie to roll into the net. Modric is jubilant
RUSSIA 1-1 CROATIA MISSED! That was horrendous from Fernandes, who skews it well wide of Subasic’s right post. Cruel twist of fate for the Brazilian-born
RUSSIA 1-1 CROATIA SAVE! Akinfeev pushes away the penalty from Kovacic. It was a tame effort and came at a comfortable height for the goalie
RUSSIA 1-1 CROATIA (Dzagoev) Dzagoev sends Subasic the wrong way with a penalty that went hard and low. Russia equalise.
RUSSIA 0-1 CROATIA (Brozovic) The substitute finds the top corner. Akinfeev goes the right way but he had no chance.
RUSSIA 0-0 CROATIA SAVED! Smolov tries a panenka and it goes horribly wrong. Subasic saves his fourth penalty of the World Cup.
Russia to start proceedings and it will be Smolov who will take the first kick.
Subasic saved three against Denmark, Akinfeev stopped two against Spain.
Penalties to decide the winner. One of them will be the first team since 1990 to win back-to-back shootouts.
119’ Russia suddenly find the reserves in energy to start a counter-attack. The Croats clear and bomb forward. The final pass was a tad over-hit by Kovacic.
117’ Oh, the ground is shaking and Russia nearly found their winner with Zobnin’s long-range effort. Subasic, this time, dived to his right on time to smother the ball.
114’ GOAL!! RUSSIA 2-2 CROATIA (Fernandes)
What drama! The World Cup continues to keep on giving such nail-biters. This could go down as a classic too. Imagine, Dzagoev missed almost the entire
113’ Russia win a free-kick at the edge of the Croatian area. Pivaric is CAUTIONED for hand-ball.
112’ Subasic to the rescue once again. Russia find a sudden burst of energy and Smolov scurries towards the by-line and tries to cross it in. The Croatian goalie, this time, comes off his line to punch it clear.
111’ SHOT–saved! Oh, that was a neat attempt from Kuziaev, who thundered a volley goalwards and Subasic pouched it safely. This opportunity came from a corner that was won by Smolov.
109’ Clash of heads and Kovacic wins a free-kick. Russia see out Modric’s free-kick, angled in from the right.
108’ Gazinski gets a YELLOW and will miss the semis, if Russia get there.
107’ Modric tirelessly runs to the corner flag to keep the ball in play and wins possession. He gives it away but the ball is gifted to him again. A foul is blown against Rebic.
106’ The second half begins with Kovacic going down after what seemed like a nasty challenge.
End of 1st half of extra-time
105’ Russia win a free-kick and and there is bad news for Croatia as the first half of extra-time draws to a close. Subasic once again injures himself while going for an air-bourne ball. Once again, the Croat goalkeeper is clutching his thigh in pain.
104’ Dzagoev makes a comeback after missing all but some 26 minutes of Russia’s campaign. He replaces Golovin.
103’ Stanislav Cherchesov urges the crowd to get behind their team. What can they do? They are stunned in silence. The men in red did win a corner, which was duly cleared by the Croats.
99’ GOAL!! RUSSIA 1-2 CROATIA (Vida)
What scenes! The Croat defender gets a yellow card for taking off his shirt. The stadium is stunned in silence. Modric’s cross was angled in the danger area, Vida peeled away from the defence and nodded the ball downwards. The header, which looked harmless, rolled into the bottom corner with the Russian defence completely static. What a break for the Croats. Will that be the clincher?
98’ Scare there for Croatia! It was a 2 vs 2 situation on the counter-attack but Lovren covers Smolov and the attack comes to nothing. No penalty says the referee.
97’ Subasic gallops and pounces on a back-pass from Corluka. He has a wry smile on his face as he restarts play with a throw. Mind you, he has not kicked once since suffering an injury.
95’ Veteran Corluca comes on for the injured Vrsaljko. That’s it, Croatia have used all their four substitutions.
93’ More injury woes for Croatia. Right-back Vrsaljko is injured and limps off to the touchline, where he is receiving treatment.
92’ Both teams resorting to launching balls over the top of the defence. Nothing so far apart from a Smolov dive in the box, which the referee refused to entertain.
91’ Russia win a corner straight from kick-off. This is interesting.
The word going around is that Subasic will continue to play. Extra-time to begin.
Full-Time: Extra-time to begin shortly. Will Subasic be taken off by Dalic?
90+5’ Croatia continue to go for the winner but they were unable to find a way through. That’s it! Peeep. End of normal time.
90+3’ Russians are not going to give Subasic any breathing space, are they? From a tight angle, atleast 25 metres from goal, Smolov unleashes a shot and the keeper parries it away.
90+2’ Russia win back the ball after Fernandes once again win his duel with Pivaric on the right. There will be three more minutes of stoppage time.
90+1’ Croatia are posing some serious questions in the Russian area. They get two corners after Modric’s pass is cut out. Russia hold firm but Croatia still have the ball.
88’ Oh dear! Croatia are in trouble. While collecting the ball, untroubled, Subasic seems to have pulled a muscle. He pounds the ground in anguish and the medical staff rush on to the field. After a three-minute delay, the goalie is back on his feet.
87’ Kramaric makes way for Kovacic.
86’ A potential heart-in-the-mouth moment for the Russian fans as Erokhin gives away a cheap corner. But Russia survive as a foul is blown against Vida.
83’ Russia win a free-kick and Golovin’s free-kick had zip and curl. The Croatian defence sees it out. Smolov came close to winning it.
81’ The Russians once again give no quarter to the Croats. A foul is blown against Pivaric for pulling his opponent near the Russian box.
79’ More attacks from Fernandes, who gets to the byline and his low cross is cleared. Erokhin is down in the box after Vida’s arm inadvertently strikes him on his gut.
78’ Dzyuba comes off for Russia, who have made all three substitutions. In comes Gazinski.
75’ Finally, Modric comes into the game with a lovely run through the centre, evading a couple of Russian defenders. It’s only a corner as the shot is expertly blocked out. Kramaric and Vrsaljko rifle shots but it goes nowhere.
72’ Croatia make another change: Pivaric comes on for Strinic.
71’ OOOH! Erokhin comes close. Fernandes makes a solid run down the right flank and delivers a first-rate cross in the box, Erokhin outmuscles Lovren and heads one goalwards but it was a couple of feet over the bar. This is the closest Russia have come in this half.
69’ There it is. As we expected, it has turned into a bit of an attack versus defence battle. Almost all the red shirts are back defending while Croatia hog the ball.
66’ The man who scored the screamer, Cheryshev comes off and in comes Smolov. A like-for-like replacement.
64’ Russia are under the pump but alert to sniff out an danger. Rebic tried to catch the opposition defence off-guard with a quick exchange of passes but Ignaschevich and Co stay firm.
63’ Croatia have replaced Perisic with Brozovic. They have the ball in the Russian half and threaten to do something with it.
61’ Russia respond quickly. Dzyuba tests Subasic with a header from a Russian corner. The ball harmlessly rolls straight to the goalkeeper.
59’ OFF THE POST! How did that not go in?! What a respite for Russia. Kramaric did well to keep the ball in play and Akinfeev was caught out of his line. Perisic ghosted into the box, made space but his shot somehow did not find its way into the net. How? Nobody knows. That was inches we are talking about, folks.
58’ Strinic is having a busy few minutes as the Russians continue to rely on long-balls to catch the Croatian defence off-guard.
56’ Kramaric once again gets space to run at the Russian defence but his attempt at finding a man when space opened up on the right goes horribly awry.
55’ Dzyuba once again is a livewire and makes a powerful run before switching play to the left flank. Croatia, caught backpedaling, do well to see out the danger.
54’ Croatia have he ball but are going nowhere with it. Vrsaljko is caught off the ball on the right flank.
53’ Samedov comes off for Russia and in comes Alexander Erokhin.
51’ Croatia lock and load again and Kramaric this time attempts an overhead kick. He connects the ball but it lacked venom or direction to beat Akinfeev. Superb effort, nonetheless.
48’ Now Croatia find their passing range with Kramaric posing some questions to the Russian backline. The forward loses possession but Modric finds him again with a swift press and counter. Kramaric loses balance and eventually the ball.
46’ Bit of volleyball from both teams to start proceedings. The ball changes hands from one goalie to the other.
The players come out for the second half
Half-time: RUSSIA 1-1 CROATIA
It’s been a midfield battle for large spells in the half, which was dominated by two exquisite moments. Cheryshev scored his fourth goal of the tournament with an absolute belter. Kramaric slotted home a timely equaliser, which was set up by Mandzukic and Rebic, who has been Croatia’s best player in the half by some distance. Raktic and Modric have been subdue so far.
46’ Modric tries to kick-start a Croatian attack but the referee blows his whistle for half-time.
45’ Cheryshev surges down the flank for another bulldozing run. He is stopped in his tracks by Vrsaljko, who shield it away from the Russian No 6, who concedes a foul.
43’ Play is back on after Mandzukic receives treatment following a clash. Croatia’s attack is broken down on the right wing. Russia don’t do much either.
41’ Well, well. There was nearly a break at the other end as Artem Dzyuba continues to create problems running at the heart of the Croatian defence. Dalic’s men can breathe a sigh of relief as a foul was called.
39’ GOAL!! RUSSIA 1-1 CROATIA (Kramaric)
That was neatly done. For once, Russia lose their shape at their back and it is Mandzukic’s versatility that comes into play here. The striker darts down the left flank and flicks a cross, Kramaric dives low and heads it past Akinfeev.
36’ Another YELLOW CARD – Strinic goes into the book for a tug on Samedov. Croatia under the cosh and they need a quick response.
34’ The corner is cleared safely by the Russians and Lovren goes gets a YELLOW CARD for a push on Dzyuba.
33’ A shell-shocked Croatia scurry forward in search of the equaliser and they win a corner.
31’ GOAL!! RUSSIA 1-0 CROATIA (Cheryshev)
What a goal! It was out of the world. The build-up, the passing, the movement, and of course, the finish. Near the half-way line, Cheryshev starts the move by playing a clever one-two behind the Croatian midfield. From 30 yards out, he unleashes a thunderous left-footer that finds the roof of the net. Subasic didn’t even bother moving for that one. What a strike!
27’ Close – Croatia attack down the right and Vrsaljko’s low cross saw Raktic connect to it but the header went just wide of the post.
26’ Croatia still has around 65 percent possession at this stage. Rakitic tries for a sweeping long ball to the right flank but the ball goes out of play.
24’ Rakitic gets into an aggressive battle to shield the ball. He jostles with Samedov and it is the Barcelona midfielder who comes out on top.
22’ Modric tries to start an attack after exchanging a couple of passes in the middle of the park. The low block of the Russian defence, though, once again blunts it out before it reaches Mandzukic.
19’ It turns into a bit of a midfield battle for the last few minutes but Russia marginally have the upper hand. The hosts’ counter-attacks have been swift and fast.
16’ Another Russian attack of real purpose. Fernandes tees the ball up for Samedov, who sneaks his way to the byline but his touch was a tad heavy and Subasic had enough time to come off his line and gobble the ball up.
15’ Nope. The attempted curler from Rakitic went a few feet over the bar. It’s still goalless
14’ Rebic is causing all kinds of problems to the Russian backline and wins a foul not far away from the box. Danger for the hosts as Rakitic is lining up to take the dead ball.
13’ Brilliant counter-attack by Croatia but Lovren’s timely interception keeps the score goalless. Dzyuba started things off with a surging run down the left flank. He found Golovin, who spotted Samedov in space. Lovren cut out Samedov’s cross.
11’ Mandzukic comes close to heading the ball home this time but Kutepov this time comes to the rescue by putting the Croat striker off balance. Croatia are steadily making inroads in this game.
10’ Croatia earn a corner and Modric’s delivery is cleared out by the defence. Golovin tries to break away in speed but Strinic shields the ball well and wins a foul.
8’ Now, Croatia enjoy a long spell of possession, calming the pace of the game down. It has been nothing short of frenetic from kick-off. Mandzukic tries to latch on to a through ball but fails to get on the end of it by an inch.
6’ Croatia come close. Rebic tests Akinfeev with after bullying Kudriashov in the box and attempting a shot from an acute angle on the right. From the corner, Lovren puts a great header goalwards and once again, Rebic gets a sniff. His header went just over the bar.
5’ SHOT, blocked. Cherysev finds Golovin with a cross and the midfielder cracks a volley goalwards but Lovren makes a timely interception. That was heading for the top corner.
4’ The Russian fans create a wall of noise as their team knock the ball around with confidence. The ball is still in the Croatian half.
2’ Russia throw themselves forward and look bright going forward. Cheryshev enters the penalty area, but Vida is there to cover his shot on time.
Zhirkov misses out after limping off with an injury in the last game. Cheryshev takes his place.
National anthems time
10: 53 pm: Croatia might have died a thousand deaths against Denmark. Here’s Rakitic paying tribute to his Real Madrid counterpart and teammate: “Before the penalty shootout against Denmark, I had the guys together and said to them, ‘Luka (Modric) has saved us many times, now we have to give something back to him.”
10:50 pm: The midfield maestro previews the game:
10:47 pm: Spain completed 1006 passes against Russia. Croatia have some pass masters in their side. What will be the outcome today?
10:34 pm: President Vladimir Putin put no pressure on Russia to beat Spain, says Kremlin – READ
10:28 pm: Brozovic makes way for Kramaric here. Croatia missed some bite going forward and Dalic has gone for two strikers here in what will be a 4-4-2 formation. No changes for Russia, though.
The lineups are out:
In other news:
10:16 pm: Croatia have scored in their last eight games. This will be the third time they face a host team, having played France in 1998, and Brazil in 2014.
10:12 pm: Russia and Croatia recently faced off in 2015. Here’s what transpired in that match, which was a friendly
10:05 pm: Croatia have not reached the last eight for 20 years, having reach the semi-finals in France 1998, their all-time best placing in the competition. Read all statistics you needed to know about the match HERE
Hello and welcome to the live updates of the final quarter-final match of the Fifa World Cup. Who will join France, Belgium and England in the semi-finals? Russia, against all odds pulled off an extraordinary upset against Croatia in the round of 16.
Can they pull off a repeat of that performance? Their defence, led by old warhorse Sergei Ignashevich, were staunch and shut down the flow of opposition attacks for 120 minutes. Croatia, though, offer a different kind of threat. Luca Modric and Co suffered a scare against Denmark before going through on penalties.
For all the verve they showed in the round-robin stages, Croatia were flat against the Danes and were frustrated by Kasper Schmeichel and Co. A lot of Russia’s attacking threat will be down to how striker Artem Dzyuba and playmaker Alexander Golovin combine in the final third.