Croatia, Brazil- Favourites Brazil in Tears as They Crash OUT of World Cup in Loss to Shootout kings

  • 2 years ago
Croatia 1-1 Brazil (4-2 on pens): Neymar and Co are KNOCKED OUT of the World Cup on penalties after Rodrygo and Marquinhos both missed from 12 yards to send the tournament.

And now it’s Croatia who will be heading into a semi-final clash with Argentina or Holland despite drawing four of their five matches here in Qatar.

And once again it was Croatian keeper Dominik Livakovic who was the hero after saving three Japanese penalties in the previous round.

This time he threw himself to his left to keep out Rodrygo’s opening spot-kick to give his team the psychological advantage.

And when Marquinhos struck his effort against the post, the boys from Brazil collapsed to the deck in shock.

It came after Neymar thought he had fired his team to victory after summoning up his inner Diego Maradona for an outrageous stoppage time breakthrough.

The Brazilian superstar danced his way through the entire Croatian defence, exchanging passes first with Rodrygo and then with Lucas Paqueta before rounding keeper Dominik Livakovic to squeeze his shot inside the near post.

It was a solo effort right up there with Maradona’s wonder goal to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup.

Yet Croatia simply refused to accept their fate and levelled with their very first shot on target when sub Bruno Petkovic smashed home from Mislav Orsic’s assist.

And that was all the 2018 finalists needed to pull off the shock of the tournament.

After the way they had blown South Korea away with four first-half goals in the previous round, it was only natural that Brazil’s followers were anticipating another early blitz from their team.

But they were to be bitterly disappointed as the people’s champions struggled to get out of first gear during the cagey opening exchanges.

And for a team who are supposed to be in love with the ball so much, they didn’t half give it away easily.

Richarlison and Raphinha were hardly getting a kick against a well marshalled Croatian defence which quickly realised that it was not going to be the onslaught they had expected.

In fact the best opportunity of a deeply disappointing first half fell to Zlatko Dalic’s men when Ivan Perisic just failed to make a clean connection with Mario Pasalic’s inviting cross into the danger zone.

Another Perisic effort almost hit the corner flag as both teams struggled to mount any kind of threat, although the impressive Josko Gvardiol did well to block a long overdue shot on target from Vinicius Junior.

Danilo was fortunate to escape with a yellow card from ref Michael Oliver when he took out Josip Juranovic with a wild head high challenge.

And he was joined in Oliver’s notebook by Marcelo Brozovic for pulling back Neymar after being nutmegged by the Brazilian superstar.

Brazil boss Tite was clearly not impressed and whatever he said to his players during the interval clearly hit home because they came out for the second half like men possessed.

Dominik Livakovic was forced into the first meaningful save of the ma