This World Cup just keeps getting better and better, following another massive upset in the Quarter Finals.
Brazil came into the match heavy favourites over Croatia, who had just won a penalty shootout in the Round of 16 to progress.
Premier League referee Michael Oliver was in charge. Several Premier League players featured across both sides – six compiled in the starting XI’s.
A tense battle ensued, with neither side able to get on top of the other. Fascinatingly, Croatia was able to hold off the Brazilian onslaught and create multiple chances of its own.
Nonetheless, Brazil still held the majority of the opportunities. But the scoreboard was still untouched going into the half.
Brazil was the first to swing the changes, bringing on more firepower in Antony and Rodrygo. The pair created a more lethal attack, as Brazil looked to eventually find a breakthrough.
But after an enthralling 90 minutes, the deadlock was yet to break. With 30 minutes of extra time awaiting, either side could take the cake from here.
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Despite the odds stacked against it, Croatia had a fantastic record in Quarter Finals, yet again in extra time and penalties. Going into the bout against Brazil, Croatia had never lost a World Cup Quarter Final.
Brazil was first to strike, through none other than Neymar. In typical Neymar fashion, he amassed several one-twos with teammates through defenders and dribbled past the goalkeeper, before expertly nailing the ball into the roof of the net.
The commentary doing the goal justice in the meantime:
Brazil’s lead was short-lived, despite taking it into half-time of extra time as Croatia struck back with five minutes of extra time remaining.
Mislav Oršić crossed the ball into a drama-filled 18-yard box, which connected with Bruno Petković. Petković’s shot was destined for the arms of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson, but a deflection off Marquinhos arrowed the ball into the bottom corner.
Luka Modrić led his Croatian army to another potential upset, as another penalty shootout loomed for the Vatreni. As the final whistle blew after 120 minutes of action, it was time for spot kicks.
Croatia’s hero against Japan – Dominik Livaković was prepared to halt Brazil as he did to the Japanese, where he saved three penalties.
Unfortunately for the number one ranked team, Brazil, Livaković was up to his antics once again. He saved a penalty from Rodrygo, while Marquinhos missed, to send Croatia through to the semi-finals.
All four penalties were scored by Croatian counterparts; Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Modrić and Oršić.
Croatia sets up a mouthwatering semi-final encounter against Argentina, who edged through via penalties in another exciting Quarter Final against the Netherlands.
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