Neymar’s record-equalling goal was in vain as Brazil crashed out of the World Cup with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat to Croatia after a 1-1 draw on Friday.
World Cup 2022 – Croatia 1-1 Brazil (AET 4-2 Pens) – Key Moments
- Neymar scored late goal and equal Pele’s record
- Bruno Petkovic equalized and forced the game into extra time
- Penalty shoot-out took place with Croatia advanced to semifinal thanks to another greatness of Dominik Livakovic
Another World Cup, another knock-out tie, another European opponents, same heartbroken outcome for Brazil since 2006.
The game was so tight with Selecao dominating possession, but Croatia also created chances while being loyal to their counter-attack and was heavily dependent on Luka Modric’s and Dominik Livakovic’s brilliances.
A restless 37-year-old Modric was holding the tempo, while Livakovic was the standout performer and made 11 saves in the 120 minutes before the shoot-out.
The 27-year-old keeper made saves after saves, twice denied Neymar in the first half and two more from Lucas Paqueta before finally beaten by Neymar’s amazing effort.
After a one-two with Rodrygo was followed by a swift exchange with Paqueta, Neymar had the strength and balance to hold off a defender, round Livakovic and drill home.
Tite’s side thought they could win the game when PSG’s Neymar scored scored his 77th international goal, matching the great Pele, midway through extra-time at Education City Stadium.
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But history proved that one should never write off Croatia when the clock was still ticking.
Bruno Petkovic’s strike deflected in off Marquinhos with four minutes remaining to force a shoot-out sparked wild celebration from his teammates.
World Cup 2022 – Croatia 1-1 Brazil (AET 4-2 Pens)- Shoot-out
Zlatko Dalic showed why they were the comeback and shoot-out king, with another incredible performance by Livakovic.
The Dinamo Zagreb, who was also the hero against Japan in the round of 16, kept out Rodrygo’s attempt.
Yet that wondergoal was not enough as, with four minutes remaining, Petkovic’s strike deflected in off Marquinhos to stun Brazil.
Livakovic, the hero against Japan in the round of 16, gave Zlatko Dalic’s team the advantage by keeping out Rodrygo’s tame attempt.
And with Croatia converting all four of their spot-kicks, Marquinhos’ strike against the post sent Tite’s side crashing out.
The abnormal case of Croatia
Eight of Croatia’s last nine World Cup knockout games have now gone to extra-time — the only exception is the final in 2018, which they lost to France.
Livakovic, who became only the third goalkeeper to make three saves in a single World Cup penalty shoot-out with his heroics against Japan.
The European side had equalled Germany’s record of winning the most shootouts without having lost one in the World Cup (four). Their goalkeeper had tied the record for most spot-kick saves in shootouts in the competition (also four).
After Neymar’s moment of magic, Brazil only got themself to blame when they were made to pay the price in what is set to be Tite’s final game in charge, while Neymar might have played his last World Cup game.
Brazil were the 13th side to go 1-0 up during extra-time in a World Cup knockout match but the first of those to lose.
Croatia will be facing Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Tuesday’s first semi-final while Brazil and Netherlands head home.
Well, just like M88 Mansion ambassador Steve Gerrard had predicted in the interview in full with us about Argentina could go on and win the tournament, looks like it’s happening, but first, they have the 2018 runner-up to beat.
Get involve on the upcoming match up as Luka Modric squad will be facing Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the FIFA world cup 2022 semi finals.