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
ITV will broadcast live International football this evening as England host Kosovo. This Euro 2020 Group A qualifier takes place at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. Kosovo only played their first official match as an independent nation in 2014 and… Read more
ITV will broadcast live International football this evening as England host Bulgaria. This UEFA Euro 2020 Group A qualifier take at Wembley Stadium, as Gareth Southgate’s men look to maintain their 100 per cent record in qualifying so far. These… Read more