Croatia identify England danger man for semi-final

Bridge in Osijek lights up in Croatian colours

Croatia's first female President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was in attendance on the night her team dumped hosts Russian Federation out of the tournament following a 4-3 penalty shootout win.

In a more encouraging sign, this time around, they've also won their first penalty shootout at world football's showpiece tournament.

The fans at home would have possibly not expected such a show from their players, who have quickly been embraced as national heroes. "Something had to change to get the results", Dalic said.

England have progressed to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, but Croatia defender Dejan Lovren - who plays his club football in England - says he is not paying attention to the World Cup fever that has swept the country.

"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses - they are in the semi-finals that says it all, ' he told the media".

"We expect a very tough and demanding match, like every one in the World Cup".

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Karius also made a highly publicised error in the warm-up to the game against Chester at the weekend. The Reds' under-fire No.1 cost his side in the Champions League final in May against Real Madrid .

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Shaqiri scored eight times for Stoke last season and has made 92 appearances in total since joining from Inter in 2015. Shaqiri's involvement at the World Cup ended last week when Switzerland were knocked out of the tournament by Sweden.

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But, on their recent JetBlue flight home to Boston, they noticed that their 3-year-old French bulldog, Darcy, was in distress. Michelle pulled her dog out of the carrier and into her lap with the hopes that it might help Darcy calm down.

Fyodor Smolov had his first penalty saved by Danijel Subasic and, although Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved a Mateo Kovacic kick, their fate appeared sealed when Mario Fernandes fired wide from their third attempt.

Danijel Subasic's save on Fedor Smolov's penalty made him only the third goalkeeper in history to save four penalties in World Cup shootouts (He had saved three against Denmark in the round of 16 shootout).

"But we believe in our strengths too". I don't cry often but now I have good cause.

The toll both games have taken on the Croatia squad was evident at the end of extra time against the hosts with several players sprawled out on the turf at full-time. Modric is one player England need to stifle if they harbour any dreams of prolonging their stay in Moscow. "The whole country is celebrating and all the team is very proud".

Belgium has never been to the final of a World Cup, but that's exactly what they look poised to do as the highest-ranked team (No. 3 in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings) left in the tournament. "We looked decent. And penalties - it's a question of luck. and fate".

Former Real Madrid man Denis Cheryshev put the hosts in front in the 31st minute before Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric restored parity eight minutes later.

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