Nyet This Time: Russia Loses to Croatia in Shootout

And England advances with decisive victory over Sweden
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2018 5:00 PM CDT
Croatia's Andrej Kramaric celebrates his side's opening goal during the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July...   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
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Although Russia made it further at this year's World Cup than most anyone expected, it was Croatia that advanced to the semifinals with a 4-3 shootout victory Saturday following a 2-2 draw, the AP reports. The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked team in the tournament at No. 70, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England. "I left everything on the field and unfortunately we were unlucky," says Russia midfielder Roman Zobnin. "We gave everything we could." At 1-1 in the penalty shootout, Russia defender Mario Fernandes missed his shot—only the second player to miss in any of the four shootouts at this year's World Cup. The teams then traded two scores each before Ivan Rakitic calmly scored the winning penalty.

Earlier Saturday, England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It also reached the semifinals of the World Cup, the AP reports. Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England's youthful team a match against Croatia for a place in the final on July 15. "We looked composed," says England captain Harry Kane. "We looked like we controlled the game." The chant of "On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way" came from England fans in one corner of the Samara Arena throughout the match, and the team's march to the Russian capital was fuelled by goals from set pieces. England will play Croatia in the semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.
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