Pentacampeons stumbled on the Croatian defense - Inc News
, author: Ermakova M.

Pentacampeons stumbled on the Croatian defense

The Brazilian dream of a new championship has not come true for twenty years.

Of course, most fans - even those who consider Neymar not a world football star, but an ordinary whiner - believed that the Brazilians would reach the semi-finals. In their best examples - for example, in the previous match with South Korea (4:1), the pentakampeons looked like football don juans, able to subdue anyone beautifully. But together with another beautiful novel - only tears. At Neymar. Yes, throughout Brazil.

Of course, the victory of the Croats is not good for football. In recent decades, we have already become accustomed to the fact that even football dwarfs have learned to defend themselves, and instead of perky defeats in the spirit of the old times, we watch how the giants over and over again try to overcome the defense of those who will be happy with a goalless draw. We saw something similar this time too - with the only difference that the Croats still know how to defend themselves interestingly.

The first dangerous moment arose only in the 21st minute: after a long attack, the ball ended up with Neymar, and from the left side he struck straight into the hands of Dominik Livakovic. “Checkered” did not seek to meet the opponent high, but the Brazilians with their pressure sometimes forced the Croats in the absence of options to roll the ball to each other. But they failed to break the defense. At the end of the half, Neymar had another chance: he took a free kick, but the ball again flew into the hands of Livakovic.

But in the debut of the second half, the Croatian goalkeeper had to help out: Edar Militau hung on Richarlison from the right side, he beat Joshko Guardiola at the top, but Livakovic parried the blow. Seven minutes later, Neymar was again at the Croats' goal, and this time he hit more dangerously, but the goalkeeper's leg did not allow the ball to reach the front.

In general, in the second half there was a feeling that the Brazilians were about to open an account. Lukas Paqueta and Neymar threatened the Croatian goal several times, but Livakovic was still good. And he capitulated only in the 105th minute, and again Paqueta and Neymar were at the forefront: they ran out together to the goalkeeper, and the PSG forward finally outplayed him.

It was thought that this was all: the Croats had not seen any counterplay before, and now there is little time at all. But the “checkered” did not think so and punished the Brazilians, who relaxed after the goal: in the 117th minute, Mislav Orsic put the ball on the penalty line for Bruno Petkovic, and he equalized the score.

For 120 minutes, the Croats struck one shot on target and scored one goal. The same thing happened in the penalty shootout: no one missed, but Rodrigo ran better than hit - Livakovic guessed where the ball would fly. And towards the end, Marquinhos hit the post - and that's it, the Brazilians again without medals. And the Croats are excellent fighters, even if it's not very interesting to watch their game.

Match protocol

Croatia - Brazil - 1:1 (0:0, 0:0, 0:1, 1:0), pen. 4:2.
9th December. Er Rayyan. Education City Stadium.
Referee - Oliver (England).
Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Guardiol, Sosa (Budimir 110), Modric, Kovacic (Maer 105), Brozovic (Orsic 114), Perisic, Pasalic (Vlasic 72), Kramaric (Petkovic 72).
Brazil: Alisson, Militao (Alex Sandro 105), Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Danilo, Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta (Fred 105), Neymar, Richarlison (Pedro 84), Rafinha (Antoni 56), Vinicius Junior (Rodrigo, 64).
Goals: 0:1 Neymar (105+1), 1:1 Petkovic (117).
Penalty series: 1:0 Vlasic, 1:0 Rodrigo (goalkeeper), 2:0 Mayer, 2:1 Casemir, 3:1 Modric, 3:2 Pedro, 4:2 Orsic, 4:2 Marquinhos (bar).
Booked: Danilo (25), Brozovic (31), Casemiro (68), Marquinhos (77), Petkovic (117).