Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Russian Federation 2 Croatia 2 (Croatia win on penalties)

Russian Federation 2 Croatia 2 (Croatia win on penalties)

It remains their finest World Cup result to date.

Talk of winning the World Cup and outdoing the famed 1998 generation dominated the pre-match build-up of Saturday's quarter-final against Russian Federation as confidence oozed through the Croatia camp. I am playing at the World Cup.

But the spark seems to have gone in knockout stages and instead they have had to rely on more on resilience to get them through against less gifted opponents.

However, while Croatia needed penalties to beat Denmark in the last round, they have come to Sochi full of confidence.

Vukojevic was fined $15,150 by Federation Internationale de Football Association but Vida was let off with an official warning after apologizing for the video, which was posted after the team beat Russia.

"Obviously we work on them in attack and defense, and they are vitally important for us", said Ashley Young, one of England's set-piece specialists.

"Russia played a very good game, particularly in the first half, they surprised us, they pressed us very high, we could not build up our play", Modric said. "We felt your support".

"From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading", he said.

"As soon as I found out there was going to be a reception with the Sbornaya, I dropped everything and drove with my husband to Moscow", said Anastasiya, a fan from Tver who travelled for over three hours to reach the capital.

In Moscow, the area behind Red Square was the unofficial beating heart of this World Cup.

The victory overwhelmed Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who cried after Rakitic's winning penalty.

But moments later, there was applause.

Since the opening match nearly a month ago, Moscow went almost without sleep as fans danced through the night on the streets near the Kremlin, locations where police would normally break up unauthorized gatherings by force. A lot of them sang Russian songs in the streets all night, waving Russian flags and sounding the horn. It's not a matter of respect - there is great admiration for what the '98 team accomplished - but matching or exceeding what that team did has been a burden in every major tournament for the past 20 years.

"He watched, he was rooting for the team".

There were times when we lacked energy: "240 minutes of football in six days takes its toll on you", said Modric who, like Mandzukic and Rakitic, is into his thirties.

'Hopefully we will go a step further than in 1998.

"It wasn't a lovely game, but it was a battle", Dalic said. But if you want to get into the last 4 you need a bit more than that and a talented Croatia deserved to progress.

The ongoing Fifa World Cup has delivered classic after classic.

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