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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Croatia prevail in penalty shootout, favourites Brazil knocked out

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Dominik Livakovic saved Rodrygo’s first spot kick and Marquinhos missed the post to give Croatia a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Brazil on Friday after a dramatic World Cup quarter final finished level at 1-1.

Marquinhos missed his spot-kick in the shootout, while Croatia scored all four of theirs to progress into the last four of the tournament on Friday.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, in his inimitable football skills put Brazil ahead in the first half of the 30 minutes extended match, but the stout Croatians equalised in the 117th minute through Bruno Petkovic to push the match into penalties.

And they did it without the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, who had retired after their last World Cup final. If Croatia wins the semifinal, they would be the only team after Brazil who would have qualified for the final twice. Brazil achieved the feat in 1998 and 2002.

Neymar added a feather in his hat after he scored his 77th goal, equaling King Pele as Brazil’s top scorer. The 82-year-old football icon, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, scored his last goal for Brazil in a friendly against Austria in 1971.

For Croatia, their leader Luka Modric was the star. He put up a supreme performance and finished with the coolest of penalties. He was there in extra-time, kick-starting the move which led to their unlikely late equaliser.

Croatia will face Argentina in the semifinals on Tuesday.

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