Brazil are out of the World Cup. I repeat, Brazil have been knocked out of the World Cup.
The Seleção came into their quarter final clash with Croatia on a high after an emphatic 4-1 victory over South Korea in the round of 16. However, the Croatians were determined to not lie down so easily.
Croatia had so far only conceded two goals all tournament long so it was expected that clear cut chances would be hard to come by for Brazil. The best chance of the first 45 minutes fell to Neymar but his tame effort was well saved by Dominik Livaković.
The Croatian goalkeeper was a man on a mission on the day, keeping his side in the game time and time again.
The second half was no different. Brazil played with more intent but they looked like the only team trying to win in 90 minutes.
They almost forced an own goal from Joško Gvardiol but once again Livakovic was there to save the day. The 27-year-old put in a man of the match performance as he added a save from a Neymar shot at his near post and another from point-blank range to deny Lucas Paquetá.
In extra time, Neymar finally found a way through after a beautiful executed one-two with Paquetá put him one on one with the goalkeeper. The PSG forward took an extra touch to round the goalie before lifting the ball into the roof of the net.
Neymar’s goal was his 77th goal for the national team, drawing him level with Pele as Brazil’s top scorer, a record held by the Brazilian legend for 51 years.
With the goal coming at the 105th minute, Brazil would’ve thought they were truly on their way to their first World Cup semifinal since 2014.
However, it wasn’t to be as straightforward as substitute Bruno Petkovic found it’s way into the back of Allison‘s net via a deflection in the 117th minute. A penalty shootout beckoned.
Rodrygo had Brazil’s first spot-kick saved by Livakovic, the hero against Japan as the pressure mounted for the Brazilians. With Neymar yet to take, Marquinhos stepped up needing to score to save Brazil’s WC dream as Croatia had scored all 4 of their penalties. The PSG defender’s strike cannoned off the post to confirm the upset, Brazil had been knocked out of the World Cup.
This is now a second consecutive World Cup quarter final exit for Brazil, who lost 2-1 to Belgium at Russia 2018.