England set up Croatia World Cup semi as Russia crash out

first_img“Another drama for us,” said Modric. “We didn’t play well in the first half, we didn’t control the game as we wanted.“From the start of the second half we played much better, but unfortunately we couldn’t finish the game. We showed the character again.”Croatia, who last reached the semis in 1998, now face the challenge of trying to recover in time to play England in Moscow on Wednesday after their second consecutive penalty shootout drained their players of energy. Croatia thought they had won the match when Domagoj Vida rose to nod in a corner in the first period of extra time after the sides were locked at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes.But refusing to let the dream come to an end, Mario Fernandes headed home from a free-kick with just five minutes remaining to infuse the home fans with renewed belief.Russia, who beat Spain on penalties in the last 16, failed to convert two of their spot-kicks, leaving Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic with match point and he made no mistake, sealing a 4-3 win. – Maguire, Alli score for England –England’s progress earlier in the day was much more serene.Leicester defender Maguire headed in the opener from a corner on 30 minutes — England’s eighth goal from a set-piece at the World Cup — with Alli adding a second, also from a header, just before the hour.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2center_img Samara, Russia | AFP | England reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 on Saturday, comfortably beating Sweden to set up a last-four clash against Croatia, who ended Russia’s fairytale run in a nailbiting penalty shootout.Gareth Southgate’s young team started their match in Samara as firm favourites and had too much for the Swedes, although they were indebted to another fine performance from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in a 2-0 win.But the later game in Sochi was packed with drama as Russia — the lowest-ranked nation at their own tournament — refused to die despite enjoying just 36 percent of possession against a superior Croatian team led by Luka Modric.last_img