Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic scores last penalty spot in a shootout at the end the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive spot-kick as Croatia beat hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties to set up a last-four meeting with England.

Following a 2-2 draw after extra-time, both sides had to endure another penalty shootout with Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes failing to score as Russia’s remarkable World Cup run came to an end in what was an action-packed quarter-final in Sochi on Saturday evening.

Earlier on, Denis Cheryshev scored a stunning first-half strike before Andrej Kramaric headed in just eight minutes later.

Croatia took the lead in the 100th minute when Domagoj Vida’s header found its way past Igor Akinfeev.

However, the hosts equalised five minutes before the end of extra-time through Fernandes but Stanislav Cherchesov’s side were unable to continue their heroic success over Spain and exited the tournament in front of a lively home crowd.

On the 31st minute, Cheryshev produced one of his finest goals at the World Cup with a curling left-footed shot from outside of the box which sailed into the top corner beyond a helpless Danijel Subasic.

Russia’s lead barely lasted eight minutes as a lapse in concentration allowed Mario Mandzukic to drift into the penalty area and cross towards Kramaric, who powered his header home from the edge of the six-yard box.

In a closely contested second-half, there were very few chances.

Though Ivan Perisic saw his shot strike the inside of the post on the hour mark from eight yards out as Zlatko Dalic’s side started to control the game.

And they got their reward in the first-half of extra-time when Vida rose highest to head in from a Luka Modric corner.

But with five minutes remaining, Russia equalised in spectacular fashion as Fernandes got a crucial touch of Alan Dzagoev’s free-kick to take the game to a second penalty shootout for both teams.

Subasic saved Russia’s first spot kick, denying a weak Panenka effort from Smolov.

Akinfeev responded by keeping out Croatia’s second from Mateo Kovacic with a smart save.

Sergei Ignashevich and Dzagoev both converted for the hosts meanwhile Fernandes fired wide as Modric, Vida and Barcelona midfielder Rakitic all scored to spark scenes of jubilation similar to those of their previous shootout victory over Denmark.

Next up for Croatia is England, who reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years after a 2-0 victory over Sweden.

The two sides will meet in Moscow on Wednesday at 19:00 with the winners facing either France or Belgium in the World Cup final on July 15.

Match Stat – Croatia are only the second team to win two penalty shootouts at a single World Cup tournament – the other being Argentina in 1990.

Man of the Match – Ivan Rakitic

Russia XI – Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Kudryashov, Kuzyaev, Zobnin, Samedov, Cheryshev, Golovin, Dzyuba

Subs – Yerokhin (54), Smolov (67), Gazinskiy (79), Dzagoev (102)

Croatia XI – Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Strinic, Vida, Modric, Rebic, Rakitic, Kramaric, Perisic, Mandzukic

Subs – Brozovic (63), Pivaric (74), Kovacic (88), Corluka (97)

Referee – Sandro Meira Ricci