|FIFA World Cup 2022 | Croatia beats Brazil 4-2 on penalties, strikes to semi-finals|
Croatia battled previous event favourites Brazil 4-2 on penalties on Friday to succeed in the World Cup semi-finals following a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.
The 2018 runners-up got here via their second consecutive shootout after beating Japan additionally on penalties within the final 16 and can now face both the Netherlands or Argentina who play one another later.
In a night full of pressure and drama, Brazil famous person Neymar thought he had received the sport when he rifled in an extra-time objective for the five-time world champions.
Croatia substitute Bruno Petkovic’s left-footed equaliser three minutes from the top of additional time drew his facet degree, breaking Brazilian hearts in Doha’s Education City Stadium.
The Croats saved their composure from the penalty spot as Brazil’s Marquinhos and Rodrygo didn’t convert.
Croatia initially refused to be intimidated by their extra illustrious opponents and within the first half efficiently stifled most Brazil strikes early.
Apart from a weak Vinicius Jr. shot, Brazil had little else to supply when it comes to assault with Neymar off the tempo and shut out by a hard-working backline.
It was Croatia who seemed sharper, extra expert of their passing recreation and with a exact recreation plan, and by the top of the primary half they’d the higher hand when it comes to possession.
A Neymar free kick simply earlier than the break didn’t bother Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic because the Brazilians, whose final win over a European opponent within the knockout part got here of their 2002 last victory over Germany, struggled to search out any area.
They did, nevertheless, nearly take the lead three minutes after the restart when Josko Gvardiol tried to clear the ball however nearly turned it into his personal objective.
Seconds later, claims for a hand ball by defender Josip Juranovic have been shot down following a VAR evaluation earlier than Neymar was despatched via by Richarlison within the fifty fifth minute solely to have his close-range effort blocked by Livakovic.
The Brazilians, who’ve now misplaced 4 of their final 5 World Cup quarter-finals all to European opposition, loved a significantly better begin to the second half and got here shut once more within the 66th when Lucas Paqueta was denied by Livakovic.
The Croatia keeper was saved busy and stopped Neymar within the 76th and by that point had extra saves within the match (seven) than his Brazil counterpart, Alisson, had in your complete event (5).
Livakovic parried one other Paqueta shot 5 minutes later because the few hundred Brazil followers within the stands grew louder and extra impatient and the sport trickled over to further time with Brazil coach Tite visibly nervous.
In stoppage time of the primary interval, Neymar, largely lacklustre till then, launched an assault exterior the field, performed two consecutive one-twos to bamboozle the drained Croatian defence after which rounded the keeper to equal Brazil nice Pele’s document of 77 worldwide targets.
But the Croats refused to give up with Petkovic’s equaliser forcing penalties and popping out on high within the shootout with Livakovic saving Rodrygo’s spot kick and Marquinos hitting the publish.
Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric (capt), Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Mario Pasalic, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic
Coach: Zlatko Dalic (CRO)
Alisson Becker; Eder Militao, Thiago Silva (capt), Marquinhos, Danilo; Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro, Neymar; Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior
Coach: Tite (BRA)
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)