Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Dzagoev 'ambivalent' about Russia's World Cup performances

Modric-cropped Getty Images
Frederick Owens | 10 July, 2018, 11:42

The Balkan side played more than four hours of football in their penalty-shootout victories over Denmark in the round of 16 and Russian Federation in the quarter-finals.

The World Cup numbers game continues as eight teams became four after the quarterfinals of the World Cup with France, Belgium, England and Croatia progressing while Brazil, Uruguay, Sweden and the hosts, Russia, bowed out.

The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked nation in the tournament, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union team finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.

"I wasn't born the last time England reached a World Cup semi-final (in 1990)", England keeper Jordan Pickford pointed out when asked about past glories.

Defender Mario Fernandes, who had brought his side level through a header in the 115th minute, missed what proved to be the decisive spot-kick, with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic making no mistake to send his team into the semi-finals.

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Russian Federation midfielder Denis Cheryshev and forward Artem Dzyuba were named among the "breakout stars" of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by the U.S. media on Sunday night. "If it wasn't for the World Cup, I think I would have ended (my career) earlier", Ignashevich said in a video posted on social media.

Kramaric said: "It turned out I didn't play much at Leicester because the team was playing really well and no coach would change a winning team".

'There are no favourites at this World Cup, every game is fifty-fifty and you have to fight it out. Well, he was right, this is a new, even better Mandzukic! "We have already achieved something, but we can do even better". "We managed to stop Messi and [Christian] Eriksen so hopefully we can stop Kane". "It turned out I didn't play much, it was hard to break into the team because they were playing great throughout the season and no coach would change a winning team, but it was a great experience".

Now they are looking to go one step further, but just getting this far is a source of great pride for Croatia.

"At certain times we lacked power, but we played two times 120 minutes of football in six days", Modric said.

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