Federation Internationale de Football Association investigating allegations against Croatia defender Vida

Alexander Demyanchuk  TASS

Alexander Demyanchuk TASS

"I'm very pleased at how the team played the whole World Cup, how it showed it character and worked to the maximum", said Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov. Vukojevic also played for the club and now works for them as a scout.

Forward Artyom Dzyuba, who scored three goals in five games for Russian Federation at the World Cup, says Russian Federation and its fans "have proved we're a football country".

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is the only player in the Croatian team now playing in the English Premier League. "We did not want to risk some passes that would tip the balance in our favour". We have to enjoy the moment, then tomorrow we prepare for England, we have one day less for preparation. "Individual awards are not important for me frankly".

Stylish passing is also Croatia's forte thanks to a clutch of gifted technicians in midfield. Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the centre where unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header.

"This is a team the country can be proud of". At some point, that wave could crash.

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Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev says "We played for you". "Of course this will leave a mark on you".

The emotions were such that Dalic broke down in tears on the sideline after Rakitic's 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. I asked him and he said he was OK, it did not affect him much.

England kept their first clean sheet in Russian Federation against Sweden, but Gareth Southgate's back three will get a severe workout against Mario Mandzukic and the much-improved Ante Rebic, who could curtail Kieran Trippier's upfield forays. Those emotions just burst out of me. "I would like to become a coach, a good coach".

The team was travelling from Sochi to Moscow on Sunday to set up camp for two days of training ahead of the semifinal.

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His hand was forced when Sime Vrsaljko went down with a knee injury early in extra time and Dalic was forced to use his final substitution to replace the defender.

And will goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, the shoot-out hero against Denmark and Russian Federation, be fully fit after appearing to injure his hamstring late in the game against Russian Federation?

A number of other Croatia players were receiving massages and stretching of their legs before extra time and before the shootout.

It's the second straight match for both teams that went to a penalty shootout.

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