Croatia celebrating

Another day, another Croatia win due to a penalty shootout. The 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists are trying to repeat by having a flair for the dramatic, defeating Brazil in penalties to advance to the FIFA World Cup semis.

The match was scoreless for the first 106 minutes, but Neymar broke the deadlock with a nifty finish from an incredibly tough angle. Credit Neymar for not going down and seeking a penalty because he could have. Instead, he stayed upright and was rewarded.

For the final 15 or so minutes, Brazil seemed to take their foot off the gas, and that’s when Croatia pounced. On the counterattack, Croatia’s Mislav Oršić placed a perfect pass to the left foot of Bruno Petković for the equalizer in the 117th minute.

In penalties, things got serious. And even though Croatia faced one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Alisson, Croatia has Dominik Livaković, who is undoubtedly proving that he deserves to be in the conversation with the Alisson’s of the world in terms of best goalkeeper.

Livaković saved three penalties in Croatia’s round of 16 match against Japan, and he picked up right where he left off by saving the first Brazil penalty.

The save on Rodrygo was Livaković’s fourth penalty save, which ties a record for a single World Cup. Croatia’s penalty takers also did their part, outfoxing Alisson and just placing the ball out of reach of the Liverpool keeper.

Brazil was always a goal behind but kept up after the first shot. Then Marquinhos stepped up, and hit the post, sealing the win for Croatia before Neymar even got a chance to take a shot.

It was an excellent finish that got the soccer world buzzing. Croatia will face either Argentina or the Netherlands in the semifinal. EnglandFrance and MoroccoPortugal will play on Saturday.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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