Danijel Subasic saved another penalty and Ivan Rakitic converted the decisive one as Croatia ended the fairy-tale run of World Cup hosts Russian Federation with a 4-3 win on penalties on Saturday to set up a semi-final date with England. Somehow, even with walking wounded on the pitch and even when Russian Federation roared after Mario Fernandes' late equaliser, Croatia hung on to win after the shoot-out.
Croatia had also needed spot-kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last-16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.
Domagoj Vida then headed Zlatko Dalic's side in front in extra-time, only for Mario Fernandes to make it 2-2 in the 115th minute.
That Croatia side hammered Germany 3-0 to reach the semis in France, and Dalic is looking for a similar result on Saturday.
The screamer came in the 31st minute at Fisht Stadium.
And it remains to be seen how quickly Croatia - whose President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was watching from the stands in her country's colours - can recover from this draining night, having also been taken to extra time and penalties by Denmark in the last round. And defender Sime Vrsaljko has been replaced in extra time after going down away from the action and pointing at his left knee.
The ailing Subasic managed to keep out Daler Kuzyaev but could do nothing as Fernandes popped up to draw his team level, converting Alan Dzagoev's free-kick after the CSKA Moscow midfielder was sent on for his first appearance since sustaining a hamstring injury in the tournament opener against Saudi Arabia. However, Croatia had other plans and went unbeaten to win the group impressively.More news: Trump says he's close to making final Supreme Court decision
He dribbled to his left, getting the ball on his left boot before bending an absolute missile into the near post netting.
It will be Croatia's second World Cup semi-final appearance since 1998 and England's first since 1990.
Croatia's fans celebrate after the World Cup Quarter Final match Russian Federation vs Croatia, in Zagreb, Croatia, July 7, 018.
The ongoing Fifa World Cup has delivered classic after classic.
Russian Federation are the first host nation to have been eliminated at the quarterfinals stage of a World Cup in 32 years.
Luka Modric won the man of the match award for the third time in five games at this World Cup, with a superb array of passing from a deep role in midfield.