Friday, 20 July, 2018

A look at what's ahead in the World Cup

Croatian president flies economy class to Russia to cheer World Cup team Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov reveals Vladimir Putin's reaction to team's World Cup 2018 exit
Cary Erickson | 10 July, 2018, 09:01

Modric suggested there was "maybe a bit more pressure on England" but, whereas Southgate's side are one of the youngest at the tournament, this will be a last roll of the dice at a World Cup for many Croatia players, probably Modric - now 32 - included.

Having edged past Denmark on penalties in the last 16, Croatia overcame hosts Russian Federation in another dramatic shootout.

President Vladimir Putin was among those who praised the team on Saturday for their World Cup 2018 journey. "He said that we should keep our eyes open and take the next steps". "They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is quoted as saying by Interfax.

Russian Federation are the first host nation to have been eliminated at the quarterfinals stage of a World Cup in 32 years.

Sergei Saprykin and Maria Karlova from Sevastopol said they were "completely satisfied with the game". "I'm grateful to the players... thanks to all the fans for their support, it's thanks to them that we managed to get so far", he added.

"Thank you for the honest, genuine emotions you gave us thoughout the World Cup", they wrote.

Stung into action, Martinez sent on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and both were heavily involved as Belgium pulled off a late comeback, with Chadli securing victory with practically the last kick of the game. "Thank you a lot", said Artem Dzyuba. I feel joy, a feeling of peace because I am ending on a high note.

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The match began when Croatian fans started to re-enact their own version of Iceland's "Viking thunder-clap" - you know, the one where they all clap really slowly and chant in ideal unison.

Russia's unlikely World Cup run captured the imagination of the nation, with celebrations the length and breadth of the country after each of the team's wins in the tournament.

Croatia will feature in the final four for the first time in 20 years following their 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory against hosts Russian Federation in Sochi.

"Yesterday and today I would have experienced the same feelings towards me, if I were in your place", said Fedor Smolov, sharing the blame for the quarter-final defeat in which he missed a penalty against Croatia.

Millions of football fans will be gripped to their televisions on Saturday as England look to secure their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

Croatia will play England in the semi-finals on Wednesday in Moscow.