Croatia set up last-four clash with England after edging out hosts Russia

England will face Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals after Zlatko Dalic’s side beat hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in their last-eight match in Sochi.

Ivan Rakitic converted the decisive spot-kick after Mario Fernandes, who had netted an equaliser for Russia with five minutes of extra-time remaining, hit his effort from 12 yards wide.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russia in front in the 31st minute with a superb strike – his fourth goal of the tournament – but that was cancelled out eight minutes later by Andrej Kramaric’s header.

Croatia, having gone close in the 60th minute when Ivan Perisic hit a post, then had the lead in the 11th minute of extra-time as Domagoj Vida nodded in, before Fernandes brought things level late on once again with a header of his own.

Croatia’s win sees them emulate their 1998 achievement of reaching the World Cup’s last four.

They will now take on England at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday for a place in the final.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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