Neymar ended up in tears. Croatia eliminated Brazil after dramatic penalties

After a 1:1 result and in a penalty shootout, the Croatian footballers defeated favorite Brazil and are the first semi-finalists of the World Cup in Qatar. All four Croatian shooters succeeded in penalties, but Rodrygo and Marquinhos failed to convert their attempts. In the semifinals, the Balkan team will meet the best team of the evening match Holland – Argentina.

Both goals at Doha’s Education City Stadium came in extra time. First, Neymar equaled Pelé’s legendary record with his 77th international goal, but substitute Bruno Petkovič equalized in the 117th minute.

The Croatians completed the turnaround on penalties and have a 100% record on four penalties at the World Cup. They also managed in the round of 16 with Japan in the same way.

Croatia did not beat today’s opponent after 90 minutes even on the fifth attempt, but after 1998 and 2018 they also managed the third quarter-final match at the World Cup. Brazil finished in the same stage of the last championship in Russia. The five-time world champions have been waiting to progress to the semi-finals since 2002, when they dominated the entire tournament.

The Brazilians did not take advantage of the rousing start to the game against Korea (4:1), in which they were two goals up at the start and scored all goals in the 36th minute. Today, they sent goalkeeper Livakovič three shots in the opening act, but the shootout hero of the round of 16 duel with Japan made comfortable saves.

The South Americans had problems with their opponent’s active pressing, but the Croatians also struggled to finish. The first big break of the game came shortly after the change of sides, when Livakovič reflex-kicked Raphinh’s deflected cross onto the line.

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The favorites “Canaries” did not dominate the match, but they were the only dangerous attackers. In the 55th minute, Livakovič won again against Neymar, and ten minutes later Paquetá also hit the Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper from close range. Neymar subsequently failed to score from a similar position from the left for the second time.

While Livakovič kept the Balkan team in the game, his counterpart Alisson didn’t make a single save during the entire game. At the World Cup, Croatia took their fifth of their last six knockout matches into at least extra time. At the tournament in Qatar, they played goalless for the third time and contributed significantly to a record eighth 0-0 draw in a world championship.

Brozovich had his first chance in extra time after an individual move by Petkovič, but shot wide from an ideal position. In the setting of the first part of extra time, Neymar collided with Rodrygo, then with Paqueta, and scored his second goal of the tournament after a pass by the goalkeeper. But in the end the Croatians equalized with just one shot between the three posts. After the cooperation of alternating players, Oršič’s pass was used by Petkovič, who sent the duel to penalties with his first shot at the World Cup.

Right at the start of the shootout, Livakovič caught Rodrygo, but the Croatian shooters were infallible. Gradually Vlašič, Majer, Modrič and Oršič changed. In the fourth set, he ended Brazil’s hopes for good with a shot into the bar from stopper Marquinhos. The South Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five championships.

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FIFA World Cup – Quarter Finals (Doha, Education City):

Croatia – Brazil 1:1 (0:0, 0:0) after extra time, from a penalty. 4:2

Targets: 117. Petkovic – 105.+1 Neymar. Penalties converted by: Vlašič, Majer, Modrič, Oršič – Casemiro, Pedro. Didn’t convert: Rodrygo, Marquinhos. Referees: Oliver – Burt, Beswick (all in English) – Van Boekel (video, Dutch). ŽK: Brozovic, Petkovic – Danilo, Casemiro, Marquinhos. Spectators: 43,893.

Croatia: Livakovič – Juranovič, Lovren, Guardiol, Sosa (110. Budimir) – Modrič, Brozovič (114. Oršič), Kovačič (106. Majer) – Pašalič (72. Vlašič), Kramarič (72. Petkovič), Perišič. Coach: Dalic.

Brazil: Alisson – Militao (106. Alex Sandro), Marquinhos, Silva, Danilo – Casemiro, Paquetá (106. Fred) – Raphinha (56. Antony), Neymar, Vinícius Júnior (64. Rodrygo) – Richarlison (84. Pedro). Trener: Tito.

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