PREVIEW: Russia V Croatia
RUSSIA meet Croatia on Saturday in the last match to be played in Sochi at this year’s FIFA World Cup™. Fisht Stadium has already witnessed some of the most intense and spectacular action of Russia 2018, and the local fans will be hoping to bid a fond farewell to the venue by seeing the hosts advance to the semi-finals.
Both teams came through tough battles in the Round of 16, in matches held only a few hours apart. Despite enjoying precious little of the ball against Spain, the Russians fought tooth and nail to protect their goal and eventually prevailed in a penalty shootout.
The Croatians were also taken to the wire by Denmark. Following a frenetic start during which both teams scored in the first five minutes, Zlatko Dalic’s men were forced to endure a prolonged test of their nerves as the match went into extra time before ultimately prevailing after spot kicks.
It remains to be seen which of the two teams recovers from their emotional exertions quickest. The Russians will be looking to draw on every ounce of support that their fervent fans can muster in order to overcome Croatia’s individual and collective talent.