World Cup 2018: 5 talking points as Croatia beat Russia to advance to semi-finals
#4 Subasic the difference-maker; Kramaric, Rebic shine
Daniejl Subasic stood tall between the posts for Croatia and made sure not much got past him. He made a few good saves besides catching, punching and tipping the ball over on the occasions Russia managed to get through in the box.
Most importantly, he battled on through injury to make sure his side got over the line. They needed someone reliable at the death and – as against Denmark - Subasic stepped up once again. The 33-year-old keeper showed excellent reflexes to parry away Fedor Smolov’s opening penalty in the shootout, which proved to be the difference for the Croats.
Kramaric did his chances of making the first team no harm, scoring a crucial goal for Croatia and also making a nuisance of himself in and around the Russian box.
Ante Rebic also proved to be suitable attacking company; the Eintracht Frankfurt winger had a few opportunities to score that he should have buried. Nevertheless, he was a bright spark, especially during a period when the midfield and creativity seemed subdued.