With nerves of steel, Croatia made it to the semis09/07/2018 07:35
As the Balkan nation overcame the committed Russian side, that Saturday night in Sochi is sure to live long in the memories of every Croatian. The Croatians won 4-3 on penalties after their dramatic quarter-final clash ended 2-2 after extra time.
At The Fisht Stadium, there were some notable and fantastic performances in Croatia’s triumph. Despite nursing a leg injury in the latter stages of the contest, goalkeeper Danijel Subasic made some important saves. Ivan Rakitic showed his composure of scoring his side’s winning penalty in a shoot-out for a second straight match. The key to assuring Dalic’s side in continuing their journey at this world final was the performance of Andrej Kramaric.
The 27-year-old Kramaric said: “Honestly, I’m not even aware of what we’ve achieved. I
am proud to be part of this team that will remain enrolled as one of the biggest in Croatian sports. But we do not want to stop now; we have to make it a step further.”
Reaching the semi-finals and its magnitude for the first time since the country’s World Cup debut in France 1998 was a huge evident for celebration the striker and his team-mates witnessed back home.
Kramaric said: “We here in Russia do not feel the joy of our fans in the cities of Croatia, but surely the emotions are very special. Now, we have to get together and continue this way, for our great fans.”
The Vatreni have shown a level of resiliency to reach this stage of the competition, having endured a similar test against Denmark in the Round of 16. Andrej Kramaric commented: “The match against Russia is yet another victory of our character. We have nerves of steel; we showed how calm and self-confident we are. Perhaps the match was not the most beautiful, but it will be remembered. The goal I scored was dedicated to my family and friends. I will certainly remember it. It is a goal in the World Cup.”
By winning the tournament against the hosts, Russia sets up a showdown against England in the last hour in Moscow on Wednesday. Kramaric rates highly the Three Lions side. He said: “Before the World Cup, I chose England as one of the favorites. They are young and fast, so it will not be easy for us. It will be an interesting game and we will fight to make the final.”