Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (34, AS Monaco) appeared to sustain a significant leg injury in the final moments of the second half at the Saturday’s quarterfinal against Russia held in Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia. He grabbed the back of his leg near his hamstring, and it appeared he was in serious pain. Yet, he could not be replaced as all three substitute cards had been already used. Subasic, however, managed to get to his feet and play through extra time.
The quarterfinal was tied 2-2 after extra time, and in the following penalty shootout, Subasic made a key save against Russia’s first kicker Fyodor Smolov. By making an adjustment while diving to get a hand on Smolov’s attempt, he successfully blocked the first attempt of Russia’s shootout. It was another moment that Subasic let him be known for his skills in penalties.
With Russia’s third kicker Mario Fernandes’ shot missing the goal, Croatia won 4-3 and advanced to the semifinals. Though it was Luka Modric (33, Real Madrid) who was named Man of the Match (MOM), Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic (52) highly praised the play of Subasic, saying that “Subasic is a hero, and the defense he showed today is not something that we can see every day.”
With Saturday’s victory, Croatia has become the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win consecutive World Cup games on penalties. This is the first time that the country is in semifinals since the 1998 World Cup in France.
Heon-Jae Lee firstname.lastname@example.org