Four things we learned from the World Cup quarter-finals

11 July, 2018, 07:38 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saves the decisive penalty during a penalty shoot out after extra time during the round of 16 match between Croatia

Zlatko Dalic insists his Croatia team have not run out of steam before their World Cup semi-final against England after advancing through the previous two rounds on penalties.

Croatia had scored a draw against host country Russian Federation but won 4-3 in the penalty shootout. Players of the Russian national team came out in the 1/4 finals of the 2018 world Cup, where they lost on penalties against Croatia.

Russia's most-capped player Sergei Ignashevich announced his retirement from soccer on Sunday after the hosts were eliminated by Croatia on penalties in the World Cup quarter-final hours earlier.

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.

This was not a handsome game, it was a fight, a battle for the semi-final.

After beginning his coaching career at the age of 28 with FC Vevey in Switzerland, Miroslav Blazevic managed several clubs, most notably Dinamo Zagreb, before taking the Croatia helm in 1994.

Stanislav Cherchesov was handed an impossible task but he never wavered in his belief in himself and the squad, even when they disappointingly crashed out in the group stage of last year's Confederations Cup.

"We tried. I think the whole team gave 100 percent".

Russian Federation v Croatia quarter-final
The hosts came into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team but began with a bang by beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Egypt 3-1. A Modric corner found a Lovren head inside the last five minutes, but the center back could only send the ball meekly over.

Russian Federation was ultra defensive in their Round of 16 win against Spain, getting all 10 players behind the ball for most the match which Spain was not able to find an answer for.

"Of course there is some power left for the English - we will not stop, we will try to play our best game then", he said.

Up front, Mario Mandzukic was leaden and static and a strike rate of one goal apiece in five games for him, Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic and Eintracht Frankfurt's Ante Rebic is disappointing.

Defender of "Zenit" got emotional after the defeat against Croatia in ¼ of the 2018 world Cup.

Croatia became only the second team to win successive penalty shootouts at the World Cup, following in the footsteps of Argentina in 1990, when they overcame Russian Federation 4-3 on Saturday to follow up their win over Denmark in the previous round. "It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us".

"We wanted to go further but, regrettably, we could not do that".

With every player set to be at his disposal, it remains to be seen if Southgate sticks with the same line-up that started against both Colombia and Sweden to reach the last four.

According to world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association he earned a total of 127 caps, scoring nine goals, and holding the record for most worldwide appearances by any Russian player.

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