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Croatia ends Russia’s run, advances to World Cup semifinals

By:
  • TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer
Pictured:
  • Croatia's Andrej Kramaric celebrates his side's opening goal during the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Croatia ended Russia’s surprising World Cup run with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Ivan Rakitic scored the deciding penalty after a 2-2 draw.

The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked nation in the tournament, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union team finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.

Croatia hadn’t advanced this far at the World Cup since the 1998 World Cup, which was its first appearance.

Croatia will next play England in the semifinals on Wednesday in Moscow. The English team defeated Sweden 2-0.

Russia defender Mario Fernandes scored the equalizing goal in extra time, but then sent his penalty wide of the net in the shootout.

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida also scored in extra time with a header in the 101st minute.

Denis Cheryshev gave Russia the lead with a shot into the upper corner in the 31st minute and Croatia equalized with Andrej Kramaric’s header near halftime.
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More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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