Croatia beat Russia on penalties to reach semis

Arnold Nichols
July 9, 2018

Check. Playing in trademark red-and-white checkerboard shirts?

Croatia will now face England on Wednesday in Moscow and after two long and tiring games they will surely start as heavy-legged underdogs.

"Dalic's Croatia repeated the success of the legendary generation from 1998. they reached the World Cup semi-finals and continued their fairytale", said the Tportal website. By contrast, Belgium are the only team left in the competition to have won every match in normal time en route to the last four.

The black and blue color scheme has been a lucky option for the Croats.

Rakitic was the hero against Russian Federation, converting the winning penalty just as he did in the round-of-16 shootout win over Denmark.

"The World Cup was a strong motivation of me. You are the best".

Vida scored an extra-time header to put Croatia 2-1 ahead before Russian Federation hit back to force a penalty shootout.

Would you like to place a soccer bet? He was cheered by the crowd.

The video in question was posted online after Croatia's victory and also featured Vida's teammate, Ognjen Vukojevic, saying, "this win is for Dynamo and Ukraine.go Croatia".

"We can confirm that FIFA's disciplinary committee has sent a warning to the player Domagoj Vida due to his video statement following the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Russian Federation and Croatia", FIFA said in a statement to the AP.

Vida's provocation is all the more surreal given that prior to the match, Croatian players including Vida were filmed in front of a large banner upon which were written the words "say no to racism".

The centre-back, who put his side 2-1 ahead before Russian Federation equalised to take the game to penalties, posted a video of himself dedicating Croatia's victory to the country of Ukraine.

The victor of this game will play the victor of the Sweden-England game in the semi-finals.

"In the second half and in extra time we dominated, we should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama", he added. "Croatia is among the four best teams in the world", exclaimed the TV commentator from the state-run HRT channel.

He continues to make his case as the top player at the tournament.

Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the field entering the World Cup, held Croatia to a single goal in regulation, then responded to a crushing Domagoj Vida goal in the 101st minute with an equalizer in the 115th.

"We can confirm that FIFA's disciplinary committee has sent a warning to the player Domagoj Vida due to his video statement", a spokesman told AFP.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Vida and Vukojevic intended the video to be made public, or if it was later uploaded to YouTube by someone else.

"FIFA is processing the different reports of the said match as well as potential evidence concerning the matter", Federation Internationale de Football Association said in a statement released to Omnisport. "Please be patient while we collect all of the information", said Federation Internationale de Football Association earlier today. The quarter-final result still stings for Stanislav Cherchesov's side, but it was overshadowed by a sense of pride for the team, who managed to defy all the pre-tournament predictions, not only qualifying from the group but even beating the 2010 world champions Spain in the Round of 16.

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