Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals

Dec 8, 2022, 6:52 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2022, 2:49 pm
Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup ...

Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

              Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil players react during the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's players are dejected after losing the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos, left, reacts as Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, right, celebrates after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos lies on the ground as Croatia's player celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's players celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil players react during the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's players are dejected after losing the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos, left, reacts as Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, right, celebrates after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos lies on the ground as Croatia's player celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's players celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil players react during the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's players are dejected after losing the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos, left, reacts as Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, right, celebrates after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Brazil's Neymar reacts after the penalty shootout besides Brazil's goalkeeper Ederson and Brazil's Thiago Silva at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's Neymar sits on the pitch at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos lies on the ground as Croatia's player celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's players celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil players react during the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's players are dejected after losing the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos, left, reacts as Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, right, celebrates after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Brazil's Neymar reacts after the penalty shootout besides Brazil's goalkeeper Ederson and Brazil's Thiago Silva at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Brazil's Neymar sits on the pitch at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
            
              Brazil's Marquinhos lies on the ground as Croatia's player celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's players celebrate after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's Mario Pasalic grabs Brazil's Neymar during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
            
              Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic grabs Brazil's Neymar during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
            
              Brazil's Neymar, left, duels for the ball with Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              Brazil's Neymar, center, kicks the ball besides Croatia's Josko Gvardiol, bottom, Croatia's Dejan Lovren, right, Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic, background, and Croatia's Borna Sosa, left, during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Croatia's Mateo Kovacic falls challenged by Brazil's Lucas Paqueta during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
            
              Croatia's Luka Modric, right, fights for the ball with Brazil's Richarlison during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Brazil's Neymar, second left, controls the ball during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              Brazil's Vinicius Junior, left, tries to score past Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic who makes a save during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is again going home without a World Cup title. Luka Modric’s quest continues unabated.

Modric converted one of the penalties as Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time.

Neymar tied Pele’s record for most goals for the national team, giving Brazil the lead in extra time. But he wasn’t among the four Brazilian players to take a penalty in the shootout, instead reduced to tears on the field at Education City Stadium while the red-and-white clad Croatians celebrated.

“It feels like a nightmare. It’s hard to believe this is happening,” said Neymar, who kept his future with the national team open after the defeat.

Brazil coach Tite said he had saved his best player to take the fifth penalty.

“That’s the one with the most pressure, and he would be the player with the most quality and mental preparedness to take the shot,” Tite said.

Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved the first penalty attempt by Rodrygo and Marquinhos later hit the post. Livakovic had already produced some key stops as the teams drew 0-0 in regulation and 1-1 in extra time.

“We are raised as fighters, giving our best,” Livakovic said. “And that’s the recipe for success.”

Five of Croatia’s last six matches at World Cups have gone to extra time, including its penalty shootout win over Japan in the round of 16 in Qatar. The team has been successful in eight of its last 10 knockout matches at the tournament.

Croatia came from behind in every game of the knockout stage in 2018, and again in the two elimination matches it has played in Qatar.

“We have a strong character and we do not give up,” Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said. “We were prepared for everything today. We knew that as the game unfolded, our chances improved.”

Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer and Mislav Orsic also converted their penalties for Croatia, while Casemiro and Pedro scored for Brazil.

Both goals came in the additional 30 minutes, first with Neymar scoring late in the first half of extra time to give Brazil the lead, and then with Bruno Petkovic equalizing in the 117th.

Neymar’s goal moved him into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals, but the forward again fell short of winning a major title with Brazil and had to be consoled by veteran defender Dani Alves as he cried after the match.

Croatia will next face Argentina on Tuesday to try to return to the World Cup final four years after losing the title to France. The Argentines beat the Netherlands in a shootout.

Brazil was looking to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2014. The team hadn’t made it that far since hosting the tournament eight years ago, when the Selecao was embarrassed by Germany 7-1.

Brazil was trying to defeat a European opponent in the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time since the 2002 final against Germany, when the team won for the last time.

Neither Neymar nor Modric could do much to give their teams significant chances early on, as both teams played cautiously in attack and defense. Brazil was better after halftime and came closer to scoring.

Neymar, starting for the second game in a row after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in Brazil’s opening match, had some of his team’s best opportunities, including a couple close-range attempts saved by Livakovic.

“He was the difference on very crucial moments,” Dalic said of his goalkeeper. “He was there to save us.”

Neymar scored his milestone goal after dribbling past Livakovic inside the area and sending a shot into the top of the net. Brazil was a few minutes from victory when Petkovic scored with a left-footed shot that deflected off Marquinhos before getting past Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker. It was Croatia’s only attempt on target, against 11 by Brazil.

“It’s hard to find the words. We are upset,” Casemiro said. “Especially because of how it happened, we had it in our hands. It’s tough. We have to lift our heads and try to move on.”

TITE’S DEPARTURE

It was Brazil’s last match under Tite, who had said before the World Cup began that he was not going to stay with the national team.

“It’s the end of a cycle,” Tite said. “The loss hurts, but I’m at peace with myself right now.”

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
22 hours ago
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) watches as the puck gets past him on a goal as M...
Associated Press

Gaudreau secures shootout win as Wild beat Buffalo 3-2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov and Freddy Gaudreau scored in the shootout, lifting the Minnesota Wild past the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Saturday night. Joel Eriksson Ek and Jared Spurgeon had goals in regulation for Minnesota, which headed into its All-Star break with two wins in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped […]
22 hours ago
Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown (7) fouls Los Angeles Lakers' Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half...
Associated Press

Brown forces OT, Celtics snap skid by beating LA 125-121

BOSTON (AP) — Lakers guard Patrick Beverly grabbed a courtside camera in an effort to show referee Eric Lewis what everyone who’d watched the replay already knew: LeBron James was fouled on his missed layup at the end of regulation. Instead of getting the call, Beverly drew a technical foul that gave Boston the lead […]
22 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) has a shot blocked by Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler...
Associated Press

Jazz hold off late rally, beat Doncic-less Mavericks 108-100

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points, Malik Beasley added 19 and the Utah Jazz took advantage of Dallas star Luka Doncic’s absence to beat the Mavericks 108-100 on Saturday night. Doncic sat out because of a sprained left ankle. Jordan Clarkson added 14 points for Utah, and Walker Kessler had 14 […]
22 hours ago
Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris (22) shoots against New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3...
Associated Press

Gafford double-double leads Wizards past Pelicans 113-103

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Daniel Gafford had a season-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the Washington Wizards beat the reeling New Orleans Pelicans 113-103 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory. “No matter what, I just kept playing,” said Gafford, whose production helped mitigate the absence of […]
22 hours ago
Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) and San Antonio Spurs' Jakob Poeltl, left, grab for a rebound duri...
Associated Press

Paul, Bridges help Suns escape Spurs in overtime, 121-116

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Chris Paul scored 31 points, Mikal Bridges had 25 and the Phoenix Suns escaped with a 128-118 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. San Antonio never led and trailed by 13 early in the fourth quarter, but forced overtime with an 18-7 run in the final four […]
22 hours ago
Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals