Qatar 2022: Tite resigns as Croatia shock Brazil
Agentina Beat Netherlands On Penalities To secure Semi-final Slot
Croatia pulled off a stunning upset in the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup, defeating favorites, Brazil in a nail-biting penalty shootout yesterday at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Doha.
Brazil were clear favourites to win the ongoing world cup but were crushed under the weight of their own history. Croatia logged just three shots, with none on target, over the first 45 minutes. Brazil totaled five shot attempts, with three on frame.
Brazil’s Vinicius Jr., Richarlison and Neymar provided the most consistent threats early on. Croatia utilized a defensive posture for the majority of regulation, which resulted in limited offensive threats.
Brazil again threatened with a shot attempt assault in the early minutes of the second half, but the Croatians held strong.
The trauma and pressure of the defeat was written on the faces of the players who almost all crashed to the ground and broke down into tears after Marquinhos hit the post in the penalty shootout. For Neymar in particular, it was all too much as he cried more than any other player after the defeat because for a while, it looked like his team was through after scoring what could have been a legendary goal in the 106th minute but Croatia had other plans. Neymar had scored late in the first half of extra time to give Brazil the lead, but Croatia stormed back into the match when Bruno Petkovic scored in the 117th minute. Neymar’s goal ties him with soccer legend Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer, with 77 goals. As a result of the shock ouster that sent the football world spinning, coach of the Brazil national team, Tite resigned yesterday, few minutes after his team was eliminated by Croatia.
After 122 minutes of play, the semi final spot would be determined in a penalty shootout. Nerves were high as both teams realized it was now crunch time. Croatia scored the first penalty but Croatia’s goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovic, saved a penalty attempt by Rodrygo. Croatia would go on to score on all their attempts. The final penalty taken by Brazil’s Marquinhos hit the post, sending him to his knees in tears while the Croatians rejoiced.
Meanwhile, Argentina beat Netherlands 4-3 on penalties to reach semi-final. The Netherlands and Argentina quarter final went into extra time with score level at 2-2 after two goals from substitute Wout Weghorst dragged the Dutch back into the contest.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.