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Croatia explodes with joy as team reaches World Cup semis

Croatia explodes with joy as team reaches World Cup semis

If only Fernandes had scored in the shoot-outs like he did in the extra time, it may not have been heartbreak for the hosts.

July 6 - Brazil 1, Belgium 2 in Kazan: A return trip to the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years was Belgium's just reward after a fabulous display against Brazil. "My mum and sister watched every one of their World Cup games at my place, passionately supporting them, and they have never watched football in their lives!"

Ivan Strinic, Croatia's left-back, has always been the national team's scapegoat.

France are perhaps peaking ahead of their time, with Didier Deschamps' young team viewed by many as not likely to mature into potential World Cup winners until Qatar 2022.

Russian Federation has been basking in the spotlight this World Cup, playing to the roaring crowds at home and winning games. While tears filled the eyes of Russian supporters and players who had hoped to continue their unexpected successes throughout the remainder of the World Cup, Croatia justifiably celebrated at the end of a hard won victory on penalties. "Individual awards are not important for me frankly". "But thank God we've shown our character". We have to enjoy the moment, then tomorrow we prepare for England, we have one day less for preparation.

It's not that Sterling didn't try, he was full of effort, running and always made himself an option, he just looked to be desperately short on confidence and all too often his final ball or shot on goal let him down.

Goalkeeper Subasic was the hero against Denmark in the last 16, making three penalty saves.

"I don't have any emotions left at all", said Russian Federation midfielder Roman Zobnin. "They've given us belief that we are a genuine footballing country".

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", said Modric. "The teams who are hard-working, who are compact and united, these are the teams that are still here".

"Nonetheless, the Croatian football federation has pointed out to both Vida and Vukojevic, as well as all other internationals, to refrain from any messages that could be politically interpreted in the future", it said.

"Maybe it is written in the stars that we have to go through this drama".

"The Ballon d'Or? I don't think about it at all", Modric said. The victor will book their place in the World Cup final against either Belgium or France.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.


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