Croatia qualified for the World Cup semi-finals after beating Brazil on penalties.
After the Brazilian fans were waiting a few minutes for the end of the second overtime period and celebrating qualification, as the Celsao were ahead with Neymar’s goal, Croatia equalized with their only shot at Alisson Becker’s goal.
The match was eventually decided by a penalty shootout, which Croatia won 4-2.
In the details of the match, the start was cautious on the part of Croatia, whose coach described the Brazilian team as “terrifying”.
After a shot from Brazilian Vinicius Jr. was easily saved by goalkeeper Levakovic, Luka Modric’s companions began to control the rhythm of the match for some time, and Perezic almost threatened goalkeeper Alisson Becker, had it not been for the power of Josep Juranovic’s pass, who was the most active in the first half.
And when Neymar tried to present a Brazilian glimpse in the middle of the field, Brozovic only found that he pulled him out of the shirt, so that the Croatian player, who plays for Inter Milan, got the yellow card.
In the second half, Celsao tried to present his usual level, but the Croatian national team left no room for Neymar and his teammates to move in the second half of the field easily.
And the goalkeeper saved the Croatian alone from Neymar, who received a perfect pass from his colleague Richarlison, who came out of the penalty area to help build the attacks.
And Tite, Brazil coach, pushed Manchester United winger Anthony instead of Rafinha, who was out of his form.
And with the continued defensive stability from Croatia, and the absence of an offensive solution from Brazil, Brazil coach Vinicius Junior was removed, and his Real Madrid colleague Rodrigo replaced him.
Moments later, the closest opportunity to score came through Pakita, but goalkeeper Levakovic pushed it away.
Once again, Neymar faced goalkeeper Levakovic, but to no avail.
And the dominance became Brazilian in the last fifteen minutes of the match, thanks to Anthony’s quirks and the offensive role of Paqueta and Militao, whose shot before the end of the original match time almost hit the net.
The match went to two overtime periods after the end of the original time on the scoreless draw.
It seemed clear in the first extra half that the players had been exhausted, although the Selecao, who was not used to extra time, was more willing to settle the match before the penalty shootout.
Substitute Bedou tried to implement a scissor lift, but the ball came out weak to goalkeeper Levakovic.
And Brozovic almost snatched a goal for Croatia after he received a pass from his colleague Petkovic, who deftly dodged the Brazilian defense and passed to his colleague.
Heedless of the Croatian defense, Neymar exchanged the ball with Lucas Paqueta to face goalkeeper Levakovic, dodged him and put the ball into the goal, in the last minute of the first extra period.
The Brazilian fans cheered in the stands of the Education City stadium, after they were in a state of anticipation and tension before Neymar’s goal, and the Croatian fans were happy with the heroic performance of their players.
The second extra half witnessed a Croatian attack and a Brazilian retreat.
Indeed, the Croats succeeded in snatching the equalizer four minutes before the end of extra time through Petkovic, and this goal came through the first Croatian shot against Alisson Becker in the match.
Once again, Levakovic saved his country’s goal from a fatal goal, and the match went to penalty kicks.
And the drama continued in the penalty shootout, as Brazil missed two kicks and the Croats scored all their kicks to advance Croatia to the semi-finals.
Argentina plays against the Netherlands in a match that evokes many beautiful memories, through different generations.
Among those memories is Mario Kempes’ goal that gave Argentina victory in the 1978 World Cup Final, when he scored twice against the Netherlands in the tournament that his country was hosting, or that wonderful reception by Dennis Bergkamp to score against Argentina and qualify for the 1998 World Cup semi-finals. There is a competitive career. A long time between the two countries, which increases the excitement of the meeting.
This may be the last match in which we see Messi in the Argentine shirt, who is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, on any international occasion.
It may also be the last time we see veteran coach Louis van Gaal in the stadiums.
Argentina qualified for Group C in first place, after suffering a sudden loss from Saudi Arabia, then won the round of 16 against Australia with two goals to one.
As for the Netherlands, it crossed the elimination rounds, leading the first group, then eliminated the United States, winning by three goals to one.