Croatia beats Brazil on penalties to reach World Cup semifinals
Brazil lost a heartbreaking penalty shootout to Croatia on Friday.
Neymar scored his 77th international goal in extra time to tie Pele for Brazil’s all-time men’s goal record, but it wasn’t enough as Brazil lost its second straight World Cup quarterfinal.
Tite’s team was frustrated by Croatia’s midfield trio — Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, and Luka Modric — and goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic during a cagey affair that went to extra time.
Neymar believed he had scored an extra-time winner when he ran past Livakovic and blasted into the net, but 2018 runners-up Croatia hit back with just four minutes to play when Bruno Petkovic scored a deflected goal from the edge of the box.
Rodrygo missed Brazil’s first penalty and Marquinhos missed their fourth, allowing Croatia to win.
Zlatko Dalic: “This is for the Croatian people.” “A terrific match from first to last; we eliminated the favourites; let’s keep going.
“This is a team triumph; everyone did their best. Thanks to the bench players that love this national team.
Croatia has won two straight knockout games on penalties and will face either Argentina or Netherlands on Tuesday.
In the first half, Croatia successfully stymied most Brazil attempts, with Neymar off the pace and shut out by a hard-working backline.
By the end of the first half, Croatia held the upper hand in possession.
Brazil’s last win over a European opponent in the knockout phase of the World Cup was in 2002 against Germany.
Croatia midfielder Josko Gvardiol almost scored an own goal three minutes after the restart.
In the 55th minute, Richarlison put Neymar through but Livakovic blocked his close-range shot.
Lucas Paqueta came close for Brazil in the 66th minute, but Livakovic denied him.
The Croatia goalkeeper recorded more saves in the match (seven) than Brazil’s Alisson had in the entire competition (five).
Five minutes later, Livakovic blocked another Paqueta shot as Brazil fans grew louder and impatient.
Neymar’s goal sent Brazil to the semifinals with coach Tite obviously anxious.
Petkovic’s equaliser forced penalties, and Croatia won after Livakovic saved Rodrygo’s and Marquinhos’.
More in Sports: https://buzzing.today/sports/
Photo Credits: https://www.aajtak.in/