Croatia beats Brazil on penalty kicks to dump favorites out of World Cup

The favorites to win the World Cup have been dumped out at the quarterfinal stage as Croatia stunned Brazil and beat them on penalty kicks.

This World Cup loves a shock.

Neymar (who was left in tears) and Co. were stunned as the red-hot favorites will not be adding a sixth World Cup trophy to their collection, with Tite’s side creating the better chances throughout but they were made to pay for not having a clinical edge.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

After a tense 90 minutes Brazil thought they had won it when Neymar scored a beauty at the end of the first half of extra time but Bruno Petkovic popped up in the 117th minute to send the game to penalty kicks.

Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was the hero again (during the game and penalty kicks) as he saved Rodrygo’s spot kick, then Marquinhos hit the post as Croatia dispatched all four of their penalties to win 4-2.

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Croatia have now won their last 16 game (against Japan) and their quarterfinal against Brazil on penalty kicks and they will face the Netherlands or Argentina in the semifinal. The 2018 finalists and relative minnows are dreaming of glory, while the Selecao are heading home.


Watch penalty kicks in full

How the red-hot Selecao were cooled down

The red-hot favorites to win the World Cup are out and they can’t have too many complaints. They had several big chances in the second half but Livakovic did superbly to deny them, while Croatia’s defense held firm and their midfield kept the ball fairly easily and Brazil never controlled the tempo of this game. That hardly ever happens to them. Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic ran the show in midfield, keeping the ball to keep the pressure off their defense and Brazil’s approach to start all of Richarlison, Raphinha, Vinicius Jr and Neymar backfired. They couldn’t get the ball to that quartet early or often enough. Croatia had a threat on the counter and were in this game for large spells but when Neymar put Brazil ahead in the first half of extra time, it seemed like Tite’s side thought they had won it and had survived an almighty scare. When they look back on this tournament, aside from a few moments against South Korea and Serbia they barely got going. The red-hot favorites became luke-warm quarterfinalists as Croatia’s brilliant defending, midfield mastery and an inspired goalkeeper dumped them out of the competition. Neymar’s tears told the whole story.


Stars of the show

Dominik Livakovic: Sensational display to make several stops and was the hero during penalty kicks once again.

Luka Modric: Showed his experience and alongside Kovacic and Brozovic (who were both excellent too) they ran the show in midfield and kept Brazil guessing.

Josip Juranovic: What a display from the right back as he locked down Vinicius Jr and was a threat going forward.

Neymar: Scored a beauty and created most of Brazil’s openings. He was the fifth player up to take a penalty but he wasn’t needed as they had already lost.

Graphic via FotMob.com

How to watch Croatia vs Brazil live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Friday, December 9
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels in Spanish: Telemundo
Streaming in Spanish: Peacock (all 64 matches)

PENALTY KICKS! After an amazing extra time period when the game really came to life, it has gone to penalty kicks. Croatia up first and Vlasic puts it down the middle. 1-0. And Livakovic saves Rodrygo’s penalty kick. Advantage Croatia! Casemiro smashes home but Livakovic almost got there. 2-1 to Croatia after two penalty kicks each. Modric smashes home and Pedro slots home. Croatia leads 3-2. Croatia boss Dalic can’t look on the sidelines…

Orsic with an incredible penalty kick as he slots home. Croatia lead 4-2 with one penalty left. Marquinhos must score… and his shot hits the post! INCREDIBLE. Croatia beat Brazil to reach the semifinals. Brazilian players stunned on the pitch.

GOALLLL! Neymar has done it in the 106th minute. What a finish after a lovely team move.

Extra time! Croatia 0-0 Brazil at the end of 90 minutes. A very tight, tense, encounter. Not many chances. Croatia have played very well.

Livakovic with another big save. Brazil cranking through the gears late on but Croatia holding firm.

A couple of good chances for Brazil early in the second half but Livakovic denies both Neymar and Paqueta as the ball dropped to them in the box. Two big chances for the Selecao.


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia’s Dominik was fantastic in penalties against Japan to get here, but Luka Modric continues to do the things that get Croatia out of trouble and puts the opponents into heaps of it. Josko Gvardiola has arguably been the defender of the tournament, and the 20-year-old looks to test his mettle again against the Selecao.

Pick a Brazil player who’s failed to impress and you’ve achieved a mighty feat. Neymar’s been fantastic when healthy while Richarlison is in serious pursuit of the Golden Boot. Alisson Becker flexed his muscles once or twice against South Korea and figures to be busier as the competition continues to heat up in Qatar. Richarlison, Vini Jr, Raphinha and Neymar all start against Croatia. wow


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol

Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

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