2018-07-07 14:29:03
Russia vs. Croatia: World Cup 2018 Live

14:29, July 07 232 0

• Russia and Croatia remain scoreless midway through the first half of their quarterfinals matchup in the 2018 World Cup.

• Refresh here for live World Cup updates and analysis from Russia.

• England vs. Sweden: Here’s what happened.

How to watch: In the U.S., Fox and Telemundo have the broadcast at 2 p.m. Eastern, but you can stream it here.

This game has settled into a bit of a sluggish rhythm, with Russia sitting back and absorbing Croatia’s forays. The Croatian offense has struggled to find many lanes the last few minutes, and Russia is focused on trying to spring Dzyuba on a counterattack any chance they get.

Rebic gets dragged down just a couple yards outside the left corner of the penalty area, giving Croatia a dangerous free kick. But Ivan Rakitic sends his shot well high.

Mandzukic gets a great opportunity off a cross near the six-yard box, but he can’t make good contact and his shot goes well wide. The field has tilted a bit in Croatia’s favor the last few minutes.

Rebic forces Akinveev into his first save right away at the other end, sending a hard pass into the middle from near the goal, but the Russian goalkeeper gets his hands on it and knocks it out of bounds. Rebic gets a head on the ensuing corner kick as well, but it goes a couple feet high. Plenty of offense so far in this one.

Aleksandr Golovin produces another dangerous moment for Russia, with a good hustle play to win the ball before it went across the end line and send it into the area, where Dzyuba gets a powerful foot on the ball. But it blasts off a Croatian defender’s back and out.

Russia with an early chance, as Dzyuba feeds a sprinting Cheryshev in the area, but Cheryshev scuffs his shot and it goes out for a goal kick. Plenty of pressing from both sides early.

We’re underway, with a spot in the World Cup semifinals on the line: Russia’s in red, and Croatia, disappointingly, is in dark blue instead of its classic white and red.

Seven starters are carrying yellow cards into today’s match, meaning they’d miss the semifinal if they won and drew another yellow today: Aleksandr Golovin, Ilya Kutepov and Roman Zobnin for Russia; Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic and Sime Vrsaljko for Croatia.

If this one goes to penalties (which, given Russia’s strategy against Spain, doesn’t seem terribly unlikely), neither goalkeeper will be short on confidence.

Both made multiple saves in their nations’ round of 16 victories: Igor Akinfeev stopped two of Spain’s shots in Russia’s win, and Danijel Subasic outdueled Kasper Schmeichel by making three saves in Croatia’s penalty win over Denmark. Both have plenty of experience on the club stage — Subasic, 33, with Monaco, and Akinfeev, 32, with CSKA Moscow — but Akinfeev entered this tournament with 110 international appearances, while Subasic had 41.

Danijel Subasic

Domagoj Vida

Dejan Lovren

Ivan Strinic

Sime Vrsaljko

Andrej Kramaric

Ivan Rakitic

Luka Modric

Mario Mandzukic

Ante Rebic

Ivan Perisic

Igor Akinfeev

Sergey Ignashevich

Ilya Kutepov

Fedor Kudryashov

Mário Fernandes

Aleksandr Golovin

Roman Zobnin

Daler Kuziaev

Artem Dzyuba

Denis Cheryshev

Aleksandr Samedov