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10 July 2018, 11:42 | Charlene Valdez
Croatia says"Yes! Getty Images
Dzagoev sustained a hamstring injury in the World Cup opening match against Saudi Arabia on June 14 and had to sit out Russia's next three games.
The coolness displayed by the Real Madrid playmaker in the last-16 tie against the Danes was particularly impressive - having missed a penalty late in extra time, he still stepped up to score another spot-kick only a few minutes later.
OPENING SALVO Russia had delivered the ideal opening salvo, firing five goals past the Saudis in the World Cup opening match that instantly gave the home crowd a reason to turn their attention to football.
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.
"It's the hungry players, you see", Suker said, explaining that cash and fast cars can't compare for players with competing for the biggest title. "We saw how good they are from dead balls so we will have to focus more on defending set pieces". "That in future we talk about them", said Blazevic, now 83, and known in Croatia as the "coach of all coaches".
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had never managed to go past the group stage and their defeat to Uruguay that did expose some of the qualities they were missing, including in attack, mattered little at that point.
It is usually said that going first in a penalty shootout is beneficial, but this World Cup is bucking that trend.
Davor Suker, a star of the Croatian team that reached the 1998 World Cup semifinals and president of the national football federation, tried to play down the grudge factor ahead of Wednesday's semifinal match in Moscow.
"We do not want to stop. Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.
Croatia defender Domagoj Vida also scored in extra time with a header in the 101st minute.
It is not yet known whether Mandzukic will repeat his generous gesture but maybe we shouldn't bet against it.
Now they are looking to go one step further, but just getting this far is a source of great pride for Croatia.
World Cup has broken stereotypes about Russia Vladimir Putin
Upon arrival back in Moscow , the team said on Twitter that it would meet with fans at the FIFA Fan Zone in Moscow on July 8. Mutiu Adepoju showed empathy for Russian Federation following their World Cup exit to Croatia on Saturday evening.
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