Croatia beat Russia on penalties to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia's defender Domagoj Vida (down, 2ndL) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Russia and Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7, 2018. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS
Updated 09 July 2018
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Croatia beat Russia on penalties to reach World Cup semifinals

SOCHI: Ivan Rakitic scored the winning penalty as Croatia beat Russia 4-3 in a shoot-out after a dramatic 2-2 draw on Saturday to end the World Cup hopes of the host nation and advance to a semifinal against England.
Brazilian-born Mario Fernandes had kept Russia’s dream alive when he headed home in the 115th minute to level the scores and force penalties, but he and Fedor Smolov both failed to convert their spot-kicks in Sochi.
Croatia, for whom Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida had earlier found the net, advance to their first World Cup semifinal since 1998. They will face England, who beat Sweden 2-0 earlier, at the Luzhniki Stadium Moscow on Wednesday.
In contrast for Russia, who had taken the lead through another Denis Cheryshev wonder goal in the first half, there is only heartbreak as they finally go out.
They can however be proud of their efforts, with a run to the last eight exceeding expectations for a side written off as no-hopers before the tournament.
And it remains to be seen how quickly Croatia — whose President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was watching from the stands in her country’s colors — can recover from this draining night, having also been taken to extra time and penalties by Denmark in the last round.
The arrival of the host nation for the final World Cup match at the Fisht Stadium meant by far the most vibrant atmosphere yet at this Black Sea beach resort.
The Russians, riding a wave of euphoria after unexpectedly knocking out Spain in the previous round, were determined to carry on to a first World Cup semifinal since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
But Croatia came into this game as the favorites. They may have a population of little over four million, but among that number are two of the finest midfielders in the world in Rakitic and Luka Modric.
They dominated the match, but Russia contributed to another fantastic occasion in what has been an outstanding World Cup.
The hosts went ahead thanks to a bolt from the blue just after the half-hour mark.
Cheryshev, who scored three times in the group-stage wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, was back in the line-up here after beginning on the bench against Spain last weekend.
He cut in from the left, exchanged passes with Artem Dzyuba and skipped away from a Modric challenge before firing home a superb shot from 25 yards on his left foot.
Croatia were stunned. But the Russian lead had lasted only eight minutes before they drew level, Mario Mandzukic cutting the ball back for Kramaric to head home.
Ivan Perisic hit the post for Croatia in a second half they controlled, yet they had to limp on into extra-time, with goalkeeper Danijel Subasic providing a scare as he hurt a hamstring late on.
However, Croatia took the lead for the first time in the 101st minute, defender Vida getting his head to a corner to send the ball low into the net, helped by substitute Vedran Corluka getting out of the way.
Vida removed his shirt as he ran away in celebration, possibly thinking Croatia were heading through.
However, Russia found the resources to draw level again, substitute Alan Dzagoev holding up a free-kick for Fernandes to head home in the 115th minute.
His shoot-out miss proved pivotal, however, especially after Smolov’s weak attempt at a chipped penalty was saved by Subasic.
For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic had his penalty saved, but Marcelo Brozovic, Modric and Vida all netted theirs before Rakitic stroked in the winner.


Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

Updated 16 June 2019
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Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

  • The electric cars competition will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E event
  • Fourteen such events are scheduled in 12 cities on four different continents

RIYADH: FIA World Motor Sport Council revealed on Saturday that the 2019 Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix will kick off the new season on Nov. 22 and 23, 2019, on the outskirts of Riyadh.

The electric cars competition, organized by the FIA and the Saudi Arabia General Sport Authority (GSA), will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E competition, out of 14 organized in 12 cities on four different continents including, Santiago, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Berlin, New York, and London and Seoul, which were recently added.

Alberto Longo, vice CEO of Formula E, said that the upcoming season will be one of the most exciting in the short history of the competition.

He also welcomed Mercedes Benz and Porsche to the list of competitors, and Seoul and London to the competition’s venues.

He said that the present season is about to end with three more rounds to go, and that there is a fierce competition for the title.

CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

● Nov. 22: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Nov. 23: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Dec. 14: TBA

● Jan. 18, 2020: Santiago, Chile

● Feb. 15, 2020: Mexico City, Mexico

● March 1, 2020: Hong Kong, China

● March 21, 2020: TBA — China

● April 4, 2020: Rome, Italy

● 9 April 18, 2020: Paris, France

● 10 May 3, 2020: Seoul, S. Korea

● 11 May 30, 2020: Berlin, Germany

● 12 June 20, 2020: New York, US

● 13 July 25, 2020: London, UK

● 14 July 26, 2020: London, UK