Hosts Russia level at 1-1 with Croatia at halftime


Russia's Alan Dzagoev gestures during the penalty shootout at the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018.

"They fought. It was a real playoff match against not the weakest team in the world".

"If anyone's got any tickets out there, we're desperate for the semi-final", said Holder in the van before striking out for Moscow, just over 1,000 km (600 miles) north-west of Samara.

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", said Modric.

Croatia will play England in the semi-finals while France will play Belgium in the other semifinal.

"They're going to give us a run for our money, it's going to be a high bar to beat", al- Khater said.

"It's an adventure", said McNulty.

"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.

"To be able to manage the team to this point, having played in a semi-final as well, is really, really special".

It set the tone as Croatia became the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win consecutive World Cup games on penalties.

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Compact and resolute, Croatia - for all their keys - were unable to unlock Russian Federation.

"We've talked, touched briefly, certainly, on the team which won". "We need to move forward and I think we believed in our strength and in ourselves".

Croatia has never advanced to the championship match.

"They breezed past Sweden, they scored twice, they were better", Dalic added of England.

"The whole of our nation is euphoric, they are upbeat, there are parties going on when Croatia play, they are out in the squares, out in the cafes... it's great that our president is going to be there tomorrow", Dalic said. Croatia's shooters did enough that Ivan Rakitic's successful penalty was the victor and set off another wild celebration with Subasic on the bottom of the pile.

"We did win. Most importantly, they won for us, for the whole country". "We're immensely privileged to be in the World Cup final. We will enjoy this game and hopefully we can make history".

"[Putin] called me several times", Cherchesov told journalists in Sochi on Friday before the quarter-final with Croatia.

This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russian Federation going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run.

Henry did everything he could to help Belgium bring down France, but ultimately the team with more goals than any in the tournament was unable to score in the semifinals.