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World Cup: Sentiments high as hosts Russia face Croatia for semi-final spot

2018-07-07 08:04:33

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Hosts Russia will face Croatia in Sochi in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday. Russia have already defied the odds in reaching the last eight and now fans look up to them again as they face Croatia in the third quarter-final match.

Both the teams are preparing hard to halt each other's progress further to secure to book their berth in the semi finals, Trtworld reports. 
Russia have the home advantage in Saturday's quarter-final tie, with the nation still on a high following their dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Spain in the last 16.

Croatia, meanwhile, came through a shootout of their own, seeing off Denmark following a nervy 1-1 draw.

Belgium knocked Brazil out of the World Cup with a 2-1 win in the quarter-final clash. They became the second team to book their place in the semi-finals in Russia. Earlier, France won over Urugay in Friday's opening match.

Sky sports adds: The hosts had never even got out of the group stage while known as Russia, but did reach the last four in 1966 as Soviet Union, while Croatia finished third in 1998.

Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov has been typically calm in the build-up to the game, and insists he is not getting distracted by the heightened attention on his side.

"As a coach I am trying not to watch the TV, I don't read papers, I am concentrating on my job. I believe that is the same for the players. I am trying not to get distracted. If I get a newspaper I will read a headline. Criticism is good but I believe we should have our eyes and ears open.

"We Russians like extremes so let's not go to these extremes. I believe it should be constructive, analytical criticism. You say people are euphoric: we, the people in the team, are not the people who should be euphoric."

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