Croatia is heading to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup.
The Croatians continued their incredible run in penalty kicks at World Cups with a defeat of Brazil after the teams tied 1-1 in regulation. All four Croatia kick takers made their penalty kicks while Marquinhos missed Brazil’s final penalty off the post.
Neymar’s extra-time goal appeared to be enough to send Brazil to the semis after he gave Brazil a 1-0 lead with a moment of brilliance moments from the end of the first half of extra time.
But Croatia tied the game in the final 15 minutes on a deflected shot from Bruno Petkovic. Croatia was able to hit Brazil on the counter with just four Brazil players behind the ball and Petkovic got a kind deflection as the ball beat Alisson at his right post.
Petkovic’s goal was Croatia’s first shot on target of the entire game. It came in the 117th minute.
Croatia felt destined to win the game after Petkovic’s goal given their incredible run after regulation over the last two World Cups. It made the final of the World Cup in 2018 after winning its first two knockout round games in penalties and in extra time over England in the semifinals. And Friday’s penalty kick win came after goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved three penalties in a round of 16 penalty kick win over Japan.
Livakovic made a key save on Friday too. He stopped Rodrygo’s penalty kick on Brazil’s first turn. That save forced Brazil to try to play catch up the rest of the way but Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Luka Modric and Mislav Orsic made sure that didn’t happen. All four clinically hit their penalty kicks as Orsic’s shot tucked just inside the post turned out to be the winning kick.