Prior to the Round of 16 clash against Spain, the Russians had never previously experienced a penalty-shootout in the competition since participating as an independent nation.
Fisht Stadium has already witnessed some of the most intense and spectacular action of Russian Federation 2018, and the local fans will be hoping to bid a fond farewell to the venue by seeing the hosts advance to the semifinals. The champagne stayed on ice, the party had ended cruelly.
However, at the other end of the field will stand an equally hard opposition for the Russian offence to break down in Danijel Subašić, who himself saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark - a performance that puts him level with Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo in terms of penalties saved in a World Cup shootout. A wild 1-1 match after 90 minutes saw each team score again in extra time, with penalty kicks deciding consecutive matches for both teams.
The opening penalty from Fedor Smolov was poor and easily saved by Subasic, while Fernandes drilled his spot-kick just wide of the left post.
Croatia continued to dominate possession and Krammaric had the first shot of the second half, acrobatically volleying Vrsaljko's cross straight into the waiting hands of Akinfeev.
The Croatians were also taken to the wire by Denmark.
They will now take on England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday for a place in the final. Cheryshev dazzled the brightest in the spectacularly lit Fisht Stadium, which is an architectural marvel. Assisted by Artem Dzyuba. From one such punt, Alexandr Golovin won the header to feed Cheryshev. It was Cheryshev's fourth in the World Cup so far. Only Harry Kane (6) has more in the tournament. Mario Mandzukic was allowed to carry the ball into the box and with Russian defenders backing off, and the Juventus forward found Krammaric with a ideal low cross which the Hoffenheim striker nodded beyond Akinfeev to silence the hostile home crowd. Striker Mario Mandzukic ran unchallenged into the penalty area and chipped a low ball back into the center where the unmarked Kramaric scored with a glancing header. Severe criticism from all quarters failed to dent his confidence.
"We should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama", said inspirational playmaker Luka Modric. The World Cup in Russian Federation has been all about debunking popular beliefs, dispersing myths about the country and the football team ranked the lowest in the tournament, "I believe that the keyword is how we leave - it's better to leave with pride", the 54-year old coach said.