Mario Fernandes's heroics were ultimately for naught, but at the time they lifted the World Cup host nation from the brink of elimination.
With the Croatia leading 2–1 with just over five minutes left in extra time, the Brazil-born Fernandes tied it up for Russia on Saturday in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Fernandes scored off Alan Dzagoev’s free kick in the 115th minute, making the home crowd go crazy and restoring faith at the time, when it appeared a semifinal berth was slipping away.
Domagoj Vida had scored earlier for Croatia in extra to take the lead after the two played to a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes.
Despite the goal, Croatia won 4–3 on a penalty-kick shootout following the 2-2 draw, with Fernandes's miss opening the door for Croatia to seize control.
Croatia will face England in the semifinals Wednesday after the Three Lions beat Sweden 2–0 earlier Saturday. It's Croatia's first semifinals apperance since 1998. Russia, meanwhile, bows out of its World Cup going further than most could have anticipated–and coming a couple of spot kicks away from the final four.