Vida Cleared to Face England After FIFA Warning

09 July, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Julian Swanson
  • FBL-WC-2018-CRO-TRAINING

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida escaped a Federation Internationale de Football Association ban on Sunday after posting a clip dedicating his country's victory over Russia in the World Cup quarter-final to Ukraine.

"Croatian dream continues", the paper said, remembering the success of the legendary 1998 team, who reached the semi-finals in Croatia's first World Cup as an independent nation.

TRT World's Lance Santos reports from Sochi.

In its previous Last 16 match, Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 on penalties.

Many Ukrainians and Kremlin critics have slammed FIFA's staging of the World Cup in Russian Federation and say the tournament serves to whitewash Moscow's human rights record and aggression in Ukraine.

Ninety minutes separate them from the final and English fans can now start dreaming of the World Cup trophy "coming home".

But Croatia came into this game as the favourites.

They have underachieved in recent years despite boasting a side including Modric, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

'There are no favourites in this World Cup - every game is 50-50 and you have to fight it out.

Croatia, with their dreamy midfield, are of course a very hard opponent and have been brilliant all tournament.

The hosts went ahead thanks to a bolt from the blue just after the half-hour mark.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had never managed to go past the group stage.

Denis Cheryshev struck a stunning opener from a distance to give the hosts the lead in the 31st minute but Croatia equalised through Andrej Kramaric just eight minutes later. Vida had nearly sealed it for Croatia with his 101st-minute header, but the Russia's hopes were kept alive by Brazilian Fernandes, who unleashed a wonderful header off Alan Dzagoev's free-kick minutes before start of the shoot-out, making it 2-2.

Vida removed his shirt as he ran away in celebration, possibly thinking Croatia were heading through. Somehow, even with walking wounded on the pitch and even when Russian Federation roared after Mario Fernandes' late equaliser, Croatia hung on to win after the shoot-out.

To their eternal credit, Russian Federation hit back again when Alan Dzagoev floated a free kick into the area and Fernandes powered home a header.

Subasic saved the first attempt of the shootout when he made an adjustment while diving to get a hand on Fyodor Smolov's attempt.

For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic had his penalty saved, but Marcelo Brozovic, Modric and Vida all netted theirs before Rakitic stroked in the victor.

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