The teams still left in this stage of the competition know they have a very strong chance of lifting the famous trophy, and the pressure will be on the host country most of all, as they aim to continue defying expectations.
They entered this tournament placed 70th in the FIFA ranking system, the lowest of all participating nations, and knowing they had failed to progress beyond the group stage since the end of the Soviet era.
However, after winning their first two group-stage matches to secure their place in the last-16, they followed that with a victory over 2010 champions Spain courtesy of a dramatic penalty shootout in which Igor Akinfeev saved two spot kicks.
Croatia also qualified for this match after winning a penalty shootout against fellow Europeans Denmark, despite missing two of their spot kicks.
Luka Modric could have sealed the tie in the closing minutes of extra time but saw his tame effort from the penalty spot saved by Kasper Schmeichel, though the former Spurs midfielder had the courage to step up to the mark once again minutes later, and this time converted successfully to contribute to his side’s victory.
Match commentary comes from Jon Champion and Ally McCoist.
World Cup 2018 – Quarter-finals – TV Schedule
Friday, 6th July 2018
3.00pm (ITV) Uruguay v France
7.00pm (BBC One) Brazil v Belgium
Saturday, 7th July 2018
3.00pm (BBC One) Sweden v England
7.00pm (ITV) Russia v Croatia
The 2020 Grand National has been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. But ITV will televise a virtual Grand National with forty runners who would have been most likely to line up, using CGI technology and special algorithms. Among… Read more
Liverpool host Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 match-up this evening. Liverpool are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Saul Niguez scored after four minutes at the… Read more
Tottenham travel to the Red Bull Arena to take on RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie this evening. Spurs are looking to overturn a 1-0 first leg defeat. Timo Werner’s second-half penalty… Read more