Croatia defeated Russia on penalties in Sochi on Sunday (AEST) to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals, after the match ended 2-2 following extra time.

And the coach said he couldn't contain his feelings when his players prevailed in the shootout.

"I want to congratulate (Russia coach) Stanislav Cherchesov and the Russian team on such a game. They have their own style... Russia scored very beautiful goals," Dalic said. 

"They were fighting, they were acting as one... They have incredible supporters. They were a team of the highest level. Not any team can reach the quarter-finals."

Dalic added: "Thank you to the Russian players, who were fighting to the end. Perhaps, it was not the most beautiful game. 

"It was a fight... for the semi-finals, and we were lucky. I focused on the match, but I couldn't swallow my tears after the penalty shootout.

"Eveyone is happy for us at home, in Croatia. We are overwhelmed with emotions."

The coach added that Croatia showed their will in the penalty shootout.

"The one who shows will, wins," Dalic said.

Croatia will next face England at Moscow’s Luzhinki Stadium on Wednesday in the semi-finals.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the final set to be held at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.