Croatia 1 – 1 Brazil (after 30 mins extra time: Croatia win 4-2 on penalties)
(Quarter-finals, Education City Stadium, 09/12/2022)
The 5 times champions Brazil are unchanged from game vs South Korea
For Croatia 4 of team remain from the last world cup final, 1 change for them the player who was ill last game.
Brazil is the only country to have played in every world cup (22)
Both teams have been very solid defensively having let in two goals each so far.
Both Chelsea players start this game, Mateo Kovacic for Croatia and Thiago Silva for Brazil, and the referee is Michael Oliver (one of our least favourite refs here at Chelsea)
The game starts, and after 4 minutes the 1st strike on goal from Brazil a curling shot from Vinicius Junior straight into the goalies hands
It’s a cagey start with Brazil finding room down their left.
Croatia win the first corner of the game after 13 minutes, its poor and cleared by the 1st man. Although they are putting pressure on the Brazil defence as they try to play out from the back.
20 mins and a neat bit of footwork by Vinicius Junior and a one two sees his shot blocked.
25 mins and Danilo is booked for a high booted tackle on Juranovic who goes down holding his face (although the boot didn’t catch him there) Croatian players surround the ref.
Modric’s free-kick from a dangerous place is cut out by a Brazilian head.
30 minutes and following a bit of magic from Neymar in the centre, he is dragged back by Brozavic who gets a deserved yellow card.
40 mins and Vinicius Junior wins a free kick from Brozavic on the edge of the box, the free-kick from Neymar is tame and caught easily by the goalie.
The first half ends with Croatia asking more questions than Brazil.
Croatia stopping the Brazil attacks by playing a defensive line very close to the Midfield line and there is no room for maneuver.
No changes at halftime
2 mins in and Brazil almost get a goal, this is more like it from Brazil.
Croatia have some desperate defending to do. First the keeper Dominik Livakovic pushes out a cross and needs his defence to hack it clear. Moments later, they are unpicked by Vinicius Junior who tees up Neymar.. he swivels to shoot but sees his shot blocked brilliantly by Josko Gvardiol.
That’s followed up by a VAR check for a possible handball/penalty by Gvardiol but its not given
Croatia then get a corner after good work by Juranovic, its put across but Someone is offside.
53 mins and it looks like Brazil will be making a change Man Utds Antony coming on, but before they make the change Neymar takes a good ball from Richarleson and forces a good save from the goalie, Antony then replaces Raphinha
Another good ball from Richarlson and Brazil are starting to turn up the heat a bit.
64 minutes in Rodrygo replaces Vinicius jr. who has been kept quiet apart from a few early glimpses of his skills
Brosavic then tugs down Neymar, he needs to be careful thats two fouls since his booking.
Paqueta then has a good chance blocked by the goalie at close range.
Brazil now playing higher up the pitch as Croatia retreat.
68 mins A late tackle on Krameric and Oliver gives Casemiro a yellow card.
71 mins and Croatia make two changes Petkovic, and Vlasic comes on for Pasalic. (the player who spent 7 years on Chelsea’s books and never played for us)
75 mins a Neymar attack is cut out by the goalie for a corner, its not good, and Modric on a quick break is cut down cynically by Marquinhos who is carded.
80 mins a good bit of play by Antony, but the following shot is straight at goalie
83 mins and Brazil brings on Pedro for Richarleson another straight swap by the manager
85 mins another poor corner which doesn’t clear the 1st man
Croatia then have a good spell of possession before the 90th minute.
4 minutes of added time
91st minute and a Brazilian corner is once again headed away by the 1st defender.
Modric is lucky not to get a card for stopping a quick break in the 93rd minute.
Croatia have had no shots on target in the 2nd half.
3 minutes into extra time and Sosa gets away with a hand in the face of Antony
its all getting a bit physical out there.
Neymar fouls Brosavic 3 times in quick succession and gets away with it. Brazil are getting frustrated.
12 minutes into extra time and Croatia have a good chance, but Brosavic fluffs it
Neymar scores in extra time of the 1st period of xtra time. And the stadium erupts, he runs straight through the Croatian defence with a quick one two and sticks it in the roof of the net.
He is now level with Pele as Brazils top scorer.
Kovacic is replaced before the restart
Brazil bring on Alex Sandro and Fred to shore up the game.
Et 18 mins Modric wins a corner, before it can be taken they make a sub bringing on another centre forward Its taken short and fizzles out.
Brazil now using all their experience to break up the play and control the game.
ET 23min another Croatian change as they need to go for it.
ET 26mins and Croatia equalise after after a lapse in concentration…it deflects off the legs of Marquinos and past Alisson. Petkovic is booked for removing his shirt.
ET 31st min Perisic then wipes out Antony and is lucky not to get a card, the ball is put in the mixer and a good strike is blocked by the goalie.
The game goes to penalties.
The excellent Livakovic saves from Rodrygos poor effort ,advantage Croatia everyone else scores, and its up to Marquinhos to keep Brazil in it, but he hits the post and its 4-2 to Croatia, Brazil the favorites go out.
Croatia are remarkably through after seemingly being out of it with 15mins to go.
So Thiago Silva is on his way home, and the ver reliable midfielder Kovacic moves into the semi finals.
Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Pasalic, Kramaric, Perisic.
Subs: Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Grbic, Vlasic, Livaja, Petkovic, Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Ivusic, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.
Brazil: Alisson, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo, Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro, Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Richarlison.
Subs: Alex Sandro, Fred, Weverton, Dani Alves, Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Martinelli.
Referee: Michael Oliver (England).
Posted by the CSG’s World Cup Willie