Russian midfielder Denis Cheryshev opened the scoring in the game during the 31st minute with a glorious curving floater to the top right corner of
the Croatia goal, just out of reach of the keeper, but Andrej Kramaric tied the score eight minutes later.
In extra time, Domagoj Vida bought Croatia an advantage at the 100th minute, which was spectacularly mitigated by Mario Fernandez's redirect of an Alan Dzagoyev strike. Vida then scored the winning goal during the penalty shootout.
Users bombarded social media with reaction tweets and the absolute majority were jokes about how Russian President Vladimir Putin, being ex-KGB, allegedly plotted pressure on the Croatian team. What started semi-amusingly as: "bring me their families," eventually morphed into "pay that post" after the ball somehow hit the inner side of the post but managed to stay out of the goal. In fact, tweeters raced to see who could invent the worst punishment for Zagreb. Seriously, those are innumerable.
A few tweets attempted to provide some, ahem, hard evidence.
The problem with being the home team is that, if you lose, you can't simply skip town.
Russia lost today so they are going home but Russia is hosting the #WorldCup so the Russian players are already at home, so how can they go home if they are already home and if they are not going home, does that mean that they are still in the #WorldCup? 🤔 #RUSCRO pic.twitter.com/AMnIxTjblz— www.KRAKS.co (@KraksTV) 7 июля 2018 г.
Despite Russia's loss, many Twitter users spoke of Russian Team with deep respect.
Russia leaves the World Cup with pride and dignity.They did their best and played till their last breath. Their supporters should be proud of them #RUSCRO— SR7 (@slimarshalshady) 7 июля 2018 г.
Just been on @skype with my Russian friend Vladimir. Like most Russians, he needs a hug right now.— Evie the Cat (@HMCabinetCat) 7 июля 2018 г.
Russia should be proud of their performances in this tournament #RUS #RUSCRO #Russia #RussiaVsCroatia #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/qRsccDkxj6
Other than the game itself, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who supported her team alongside Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, stole the hearts of many twitterians.
And, on an awkward note, some users got really confused by the #RUSCRO hashtag. Because — spoiler alert — Russell Crowe, in The Gladiator?
The irony is strong in this one.