Russia's Cherchesov: "We'll do even better at Qatar 2022!"

Henry Romero  Reuters

Russia's unexpected World Cup run ended on penalties after a thrilling quarter-final against Croatia on Saturday, and the hosts left the stage having earned the admiration of fans both home and overseas for their indomitable spirit.

Russian Federation substitute Alexander Erokhin headed over the bar and Modric had a shot blocked before referee Sandro Ricci's whistle signalled the game was heading into extra-time. Now his colleagues needed to save him. He said what we showed on the field was great.

"If it wasn't for the World Cup, I think I would have ended (my career) earlier", Ignashevich said in a video posted on social media. "The team gave everything it had to the cause and we can sleep soundly tonight".

"We are waiting for things to clear up politically in Britain", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, suggesting Moscow was not too sad to see the minister go.

"It was simply an occasion where I spoke out from my heart".

Compact and resolute, Croatia - for all their keys - were unable to unlock Russian Federation.

Ivan Rakitic, so often a key man for Barcelona, was not almost as influential as at club level, while in defence, Russia's Mario Fernandes beat more highly rated defenders to head home a late equaliser.

Despite the pre-World Cup barbs and snipes regarding Russia's quality and the politically-charged commentary related to the hosts, they bowed out in style, having exceeded expectations and injected the tournament with a healthy dose of enthusiasm. They finished third in 1998.

Gareth Southgate has revealed how the spirit of 1966 is inspiring England's World Cup journey.

USA service member killed in insider attack in Afghanistan identified
The Taliban released a statement praising an Afghan soldier for carrying out the attack, without taking credit for it themselves. He urged both groups to come to the negotiating table, adding, the USA would be willing to help facilitate the discussions.

"I remember in Moehlin in Switzerland, my home town, we were all insane, we rooted, we wanted to show our Swiss neighbours how powerful a football nation we are", Rakitic, who had dual citizenship but opted to play for Croatia, recalled. "We rooted for Croatia". If they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves. We want to continue on their way and hopefully we can take a step further tomorrow.

"I had them and the guys did".

Rakitic is wary Russian Federation represent risky rivals.

"They are more unsafe when they have the ball but they are more vulnerable when they don't have the ball".

Croatia came desperately close to taking the lead on the hour mark when, after a goalmouth scramble following an aerial ball from Kramaric, the ball fell at the feet of Ivan Perisic. They have done their homework, Rakitic stressed, and have left no stone unturned.

Following some superb attacking displays, comparisons with the 1998 team that midfielder Ivan Rakitic - who was born in Switzerland to parents who originally hailed from Croatia - remembers so well were inevitably made.

The two teams will meet in Moscow on Wednesday at 19:00 BST, while Belgium and France will contest the first semi-final on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, also at 19:00. This is what we'll try to do tomorrow.

However, May is likely to overturn her own decision should the Three Lions reach the final tournament later this week. It'll be a special occasion, lovely to play Russian Federation like it was attractive to play [2014 hosts] Brazil last time.

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