2018 FIFA WC: Russia's fairly tale run ends as Croatia advance 4-3 on penalties

Sochi, Russia (PANA) - Russia's fairly tale run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup ended in tears at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Saturday when they lost 4-3 on penalties to Croatia in their thrilling quarter-final match which ended 2-2 after extra time.

The Russians, who were the lowest ranked FIFA team at the tournament, had been punching above their weight and even fancied their chances of progressing to the semi-finals for the first time since 1966, when they pulled even in the second half of extra-time to make the scores 2-2.

But in the end, their nerves let them down in the penalty shootout as their two misses from the spot turned out to be very expensive. No wonder their thousands of fans shed tears, shook their heads in despair and disbelief while the players slumped on the pitch.

Denis Cheryshev's fierce shot on 31 minutes put Russia in the lead, but that lasted for only eight minutes as Croatia responded well and Andrej Kramaric equalised in the 39th minute with a header.

Both sides fought hard to find a goal during regulation time but could not thus sending the match into extra time.

Domagoj Vida then put Croatia 2-1 up in the 101st minute before Mario Fernandes's header from a free kick in the 115th minute set the stadium ablaze as it sailed into the net to make it 2-2.

During the penalty shootout, misses by Fedor Smolov and Fernandes sent their team out despite their spirited performance.

Croatia will meet England on the semi-final.
-0- PANA MA 7July2018

07 july 2018 21:18:12

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