After another instant World Cup classic, the valiant hosts Russia are sent away from their own party. They’ve been magnificent … but Croatia had just a little too much quality for them in the end. And none of the luck: witness Modric’s absurd spot kick.
Modric crashes to the floor, too spent to celebrate. Physical collapse, or emotional? It’s probably both, isn’t it. Tears for the men in red, and their amazing supporters in the stands. It’s England versus Croatia in the semi on Wednesday!
You have to give Russia immense credit.They looked utterly down and out, but somehow came back at Croatia, worrying them enough to concede a stupid free kick. And that one set piece was all they needed.
They’ll have a spring in their step going into these decisive spot kicks. And football’s loudest crowd have their back. Croatia will surely be fearing the worst. Their captain Modric looks thoroughly miserable. “Watching this match you understand why it’s never a good idea to invade Russia,” writes João André. “They’ll keep on fighting on and eventually it’s winter. Or penalties, whatever comes first.”
Smolov misses! He dinks to the left, and Subasic reads.
Brozovic scores! High to the right, even though Akinfeev guessed correctly.
Dzagoev slips his penalty into the bottom right, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Dzagoev gestures to get the crowd up when he walks back to the centre. It puts Kovacic off: he sidefoots tamely to the bottom right, and Akinfeev guesses correctly! An easy save. They’re on terms again!
Fernandes drags a dreadful penalty wide left. That was awful.
Modric scores, but only just! He aims low and left. Akinfeev gets a hand on it, but pushes it onto the post, whereupon it rebounds and settles into the other side of the net. Lucky Luka.
Ignashevich batters his penalty into the bottom left. Subasic went the wrong way.
Vida lashes his into the left as well. Russia have to score to stay in their World Cup.
Kuziaev slaps his into the bottom left. Croatia still have a penalty to make it to the semis, though.
Rakitic has done very little tonight, but he slips his penalty into the bottom left, Akinfeev going the wrong way. Croatia have made it to the semis!
Source – News365coza