Modric: 'No problem with recovery' for England clash

Heather Diaz
July 8, 2018

FIFA has fined the Croatian soccer federation over $70,000 for violating media and marketing rules at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In the shootout, Mateo Kovacic missed his kick for Croatia, but two misses by Russia's Fedor Smolov and Fernandes handed The Blazers passage to the semis where England await.

The same can't be said for Croatia, who needed spot kicks to beat both Denmark and Russian Federation, two of the less fancied teams in the knockout stages, just to reach the top four.

Russian Federation and Croatia were tied 1-1 after a tense ninety minutes.

On paper Croatia should dominate the game, as they're ranked number 20 compared to Russia's 70th place, but you can never underestimate the effect of a home crowd.

Forbes even wrote 5 things to know before the encounter, giving Croatia the advantage.

Andrej Kramaric's header cancelled out a stunning strike from hosts' Denis Cheryshev to leave the teams level at halftime.

France's Antoine Griezmann ready for bittersweet clash with Uruguay's Diego Godin
The freedom experienced in Kazan will not be granted to the French by Uruguay's suffocating defence in Nizhny Novgorod. A shot that flew directly at the hands of the opposing goalkeeper turned into a World Cup goal for Antoine Griezmann .

Brazilian born Mário Fernandes scored Alan Dzagoev's free-kick which landed in the bottom left corner.

Croatia is the first team to win consecutive penalty shootouts since Argentina in 1990 and it's the first time the host country has lost in a shootout since Italy in the same year. Daler Kuzyayev buried Russia's final attempt, before Rakitic netted the game-winner.

Neither team could be separated after extra-time, which ended 2-2 after an absorbing and exhausting battle at Fisht Stadium.

Croatia will face England on Wednesday, July 11th. "We have two matches to play, we are very motivated, we will give our all", Dalic said, adding that the competition is wide open.

"I remember in Moehlin in Switzerland, my home town, we were all insane, we rooted, we wanted to show our Swiss neighbours how powerful a football nation we are", Rakitic, who had dual citizenship but opted to play for Croatia, recalled.

After a lively opening, the game dropped off, with sessions of head tennis in midfield, but it was Russia's more rustic approach which paid off first as they went ahead out of the blue. "We have one day less for preparation".

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