In a remarkable comeback, Croatia eliminated pre-tournament favorites Brazil from the World Cup.
The Selecao were considered favorites coming into the tournament, but their poor recent record in the knockout stages versus European nations ultimately doomed them as they were unable to beat the 2018 finalists.
Dominik Livakovi was fantastic in goal for Croatia, and Luka Modric was orchestrating the offense in his usual masterful fashion, so the game went into extra time tied at zero.
Neymar, though, tossed a stick of dynamite into the proceedings at this moment, apparently winning the game for Brazil with possibly the finest goal of the tournament up to that point.
When Neymar scored for Brazil after cutting through the heart of the Croatian defense with a mix of brilliant dribbling and passing, he matched Pele’s record of 77 goals for his country and set off scenes of euphoria.
Finished, moved on to the semifinals, and well on your way to the sixth star, right?
But things weren’t so straightforward; in the 116th minute, Bruno Petkovi, who had squandered a golden opportunity earlier in the game, scored a thrilling equalizer for Tite’s side.
The entire globe gasped when the Dinamo Zagreb star’s strike ricocheted off the post and past Alisson Becker in the nick of time, forcing a penalty shootout.
Brazil’s poor start was largely due to a weak miss from Real Madrid’s Rodrygo, which opened the door for Croatia to demonstrate their prowess from 12-yards for the second game in a row.
After that, it looked as though Croatia always had a chance to go to the semifinals, as Alisson Becker was mostly incapable to prevent the penalty kicks from going in.
Despite Casemiro and Pedro maintaining their composure, Nikola Vlai, Lovro Majer, Luka Modric, and Mislav Ori all displayed steely nerves on the field to keep Brazil on the defensive.
Because of the pressure put on Marquinhos, Brazil were ultimately eliminated, and Neymar was unable to save his country with a penalty of his own.
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