International Media Raves About Croatia Ahead of Quarterfinal Matchup

Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16

Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16

Monaco keeper Subasic is understood to have missed training as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his problematic hamstring, while Lovren's unspecified injury is not thought to be serious enough to keep him out of the semi-final.

As the game went to extra time, and then penalties, the beers kept flowing and Mandzukic's bar tab sailed past 3000 pounds ($5325), according to Croatian news site 24Sata who said the 32-year-old outlaid 25,000 kuna toward the bill.

After a dramatic win on penalties against Russia, Croatia will play England on Wednesday night (AEST) in front of 80,000 people in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the World Cup final.

Grabar-Kitarovic also showed up at Croatia's next match - the quarter-final clash with Russian Federation.

France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan. Croatia is far more unsafe than Spain, which attacked only one way, and Russian Federation, without any problems, endured their countless additions.

The Slavic country has been one of the better performers at this World Cup, even though it may not have come with much entertainment.

"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said.

"He could go on and that was the most important thing", Modric said of his goalkeeper.

The path to the final, to history in fact, could not have been easier-no, England cannot be considered a strong side-and this is Croatia's best chance, if they make use of the incredible talent they have in midfield.

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic has claimed that nobody should be surprised at his side reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.

"I am very close to him at Liverpool and wish him all the best - but, like I say, hopefully that journey for him ends tomorrow".

"We all temporarily forgot our problems, no one thinks about anything else", Robert Halilovic, owner of cafe "Cup 98", named after the 1998 tournament in France, told AFP.

"This is really a big day for Croatian sport and football, it is a success that we will remember for generations".

Dalic, who enjoyed a solid but unspectacular career as a midfielder in Croatia, was given the national job previous year after success as a coach in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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