Former Russia head coach Aleksandr Tarkhanov said that Russia needed to keep at bay Croatia midfielder and captain Luka Modric if they were to win their quarter-final encounter at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
This will be the first time that England will reach the last four of the World Cup tournament since 1990 when the reached this stages last.
Denis Cheryshev fired the hosts into a 31st minute lead with a spectacular strike but Andrej Kramaric headed home to make it 1-1 six minutes before the half-time break.
After extra time ended with the score level at 2-2, goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was Croatia's penalty hero, denying Fedor Smolov before seeing Mario Fernandes fire wide.
Russia 2 Croatia 2 (aet, 3-4 on penalties)
The match started at a high tempo, with Russian Federation not giving the Croats space and time to play in the middle of the park. The teams then went back and forth in regulation, and neither could find the victor , sending the game into extra time.
Fernandes had been a hero for Russian Federation earlier when his header in the 115th minute equalizer had sent the match to penalties after Domagoj Vida's goal in the 101st had given Croatia a 2-1 lead.
Russian Federation have restored left-winger Denis Cheryshev to the team to face Croatia in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.
Rakitic then scored his second penalty shoot-out victor in two games.
Saturday sees Croatia face the host nation for a place in the semi-finals and Rakitic praised midfield partner Luka Modric ahead of the game.