Moments after winning their World Cup quarter-final match in dramatic fashion against hosts Russia, the players of the winning Croatian team celebrated in touching style by inviting their children onto the pitch.
The miniature mascots wore Croatia shirts as they toddled onto the turf at Fisht Olympic Stadium, where their dads had just bested Russia 4-3 in a penalty shootout to book a semi-final date with England at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric carried his son in his arms through swathes of rapturous Croatian fans after the victory. Croatia captain Modric netted his penalty only after Igor Akinfeev pushed the ball onto the post and in, but it was enough to keep his nation on track for victory.
After the scores remained level at 2-2 following 120 minutes of football, the two sides entered a shootout to decide a winner. Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes missed their spot-kicks for the hosts, allowing for Ivan Rakitic to sew up the victory despite Mateo Kovacic missing his penalty.
Denis Cheryshev had given Russia the lead after 31 minutes with a thunderous left-footed strike, only for Andrej Kramaric to level with a close-range header eight minutes later, and the scores stayed 1-1 after 90 minutes.
In the first half of extra time, Domagoj Vida headed Croatia in front from a corner before Mario Fernandes leveled with a dramatic equalizer in similar fashion in the second half.
Croatia will now meet England in the semi-finals at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow with a place in the final in the same stadium at stake.