Croatia eliminates Brazil on penalties
With an efficient strategy, the runner up at the 2018 World Cup advanced to semifinals.
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Brazil was considered by many one of the favorites to win this World Cup. However the team full of stars, with players on the best teams in the world, forgot that it’s no use just being better in theory, you have to be better on the field too.
During the 90 minutes, Brazil didn’t play badly, but Croatia's defense was well organized. The five-time champion had a few chances, but didn’t score during regular time.
In the extra time, Neymar scored the goal that seemed to be the winning one, but Croatia’s Bruno Petkovic had other plans. After Neymar’s miracle, Brazil got lost and let the Eruopeans score — leading the winner to be decided on penalties.
Rodrygo was the first one to kick for Brazil, and he missed. Marquinhos was the fourth to go and with Brazil down 4-2, needed to score. He missed, eliminating Brazil from the competition.
Neymar, arguably the best penalty taker on the team, didn't have a chance as he was scheduled to be the one to finish the game from the spot for Brazil.
Among Brazilians, the question is: Why didn't Neymar take the first penalty kick?
We will never know what would’ve happened, and this may have been Neymar’s last game for Brazil in a World Cup. The player is yet to confirm his previous comments about this being his last tournament.
While Neymar’s future in the national team is still uncertain, Tite’s is not — he is no longer Brazil's coach after elimination.
Croatia will now play the semifinals against Argentina, who beat the Netherlands later in the day.