The 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals are now set, as Croatia won a thriller against host nation Russia to book their place in Moscow on Wednesday night.
Croatia fell behind 1-0 on a great goal by Denis Cheryshev, only for Ivan Perisic to level things up. Just when it looked as if Domagoj Vida’s header would prove to be the winner in extra time, Mario Fernandes, a Brazilian who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, scored a dramatic equalizer to force a penalty shootout. Unlike the previous round, Russia was unable to duplicate their 100% success rate from the spot, and Croatia knocked them out 4-3 to advance to their first major tournament semifinal since the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who is the son of Croatian immigrants, popped off a quick celebratory tweet, and promised better things in store later this evening for his title defense vs. Daniel Cormier.
While Croatia are among the final four in this year’s World Cup, Miocic will look to make it successful title defense number four vs. Cormier at UFC 226 in Las Vegas. The main card starts at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT on PPV.
As for the World Cup, Croatia will play England in the second semifinal, while France and Belgium square off in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. The winners play in Sunday’s final in Moscow, while the losers battle in the third-place game in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.