Croatia fined by Federation Internationale de Football Association for violating marketing rules

Russia's unexpected World Cup run ended on penalties after a thrilling quarter-final against Croatia on Saturday, and the hosts left the stage having earned the admiration of fans both home and overseas for their indomitable spirit.

And of course for England, it's their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years after a superb showing from Gareth Southgate's troops over in Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin has invited Cherchesov and his charges to the Kremlin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev came down into the players' locker room after the loss.

"I'm a bit disappointed, but we demonstrated that fans can be proud of our team because we played good football. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us", Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said. "We have succeeded I believe, but it's time to take a step forward". "We know that we're facing England for a place in the final and now we want to win the trophy".

Maybe the World Cup trophy is "coming home".

Croatia play England in the semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.

Unless we're dreaming it, England and Croatia are meeting in Moscow to decide which side is going to take part in a World Cup final.

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

Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann will nearly certainly all be around in four years' time, but for Belgium, this World Cup has to be their moment.

The teams then traded two scores each before Ivan Rakitic calmly converted the winning penalty.

"It's a pride for all Croats to have a player like Luka, but I do not like to see him in Madrid", he said.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russian Federation in front in the 31st minute with a superb strike - his fourth goal of the tournament - but that was cancelled out eight minutes later by Andrej Kramaric's header. Give me Mario Mandzukic on the rampage, setting up an equaliser for Andrej Kramaric. "But thank God we've shown our character". We are giving our all. "Croatia have a lot of fantastic players".

The team started its campaign by beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in a Group "A" match that was also the opening match of the tournament on June 14 at a packed Luzhniki Stadium.

"They fought. It was a real playoff match against not the weakest team in the world".

Cherchesov then devised a clever game plan to counter Spain's passing game, which allowed Russian Federation to eventually squeeze past the 2010 world champions and into the last eight. While it was never a classic, this game will be warmly remembered by the Croatians for their heroic display as they ground out a 2-2 draw to win 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

Croatia play England on Wednesday, and that's not much time to wind down after a pair of matches that taxed the players mentally and physically.

  • Julie Sanders