Home sport World Cup 2022 Qatar Croatia beat Brazil Dominic Levakovic Neymar

World Cup 2022 Qatar Croatia beat Brazil Dominic Levakovic Neymar

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Dominik Levakovic made 11 saves in 120 minutes and another on penalties as Croatia beat Brazil 1-1 (4-2 on penalties) to become the first team to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA Cup in Qatar.

The match was scoreless for 90 minutes until a superb goal from Neymar in the first half of extra time was canceled out by Bruno Petkovic’s deflected goal in the second half of extra time.

Croatia will now face the winner of Friday’s second semi-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina on Tuesday.

He did the job for Croatia in the first 45 minutes. Brazil’s attack was largely isolated and Luka Modric, playing his best game at the World Cup, won the midfield battle against former Real Madrid teammate Casemiro, who was a sluggish first-timer in Qatar.

The best chance of the half came from Croatia. Celtic right-back Josip Juranović took advantage of his blistering pace to blast onto the pitch just outside the penalty area in the 13th minute when he flicked on to Mario Pasalic. The Atalanta man sent a very attractive cross into the face of the goal that Ivan Perisic should have turned into the net, but Tottenham Hotspur completely missed his attempt, which went wide of Alisson.

Brazil came out in the second half more insistently and brought on Dominik Levakovic, but the Croatian goalkeeper was up for the challenge.

In the 48th minute, after Levakovic blocked a Brazilian cross, the ball fell in favor of Vienni Junior, who found Neymar, whose shot was brilliantly saved by Yusko Gvardiol. Brazil demanded a penalty kick due to a handball by Gvardiol before the match, but the video assistant referee decided against it.

A few minutes later, Richarlison, who had been silent for most of the match, rounded Gvardiol and hit Neymar with a fine pass. PSG’s shot wasn’t his best effort, but Levakovic was still good at making saves with his legs.

Levakovic was the star again in the 66th minute. Brazil managed to move the ball into the Croatian penalty area, where it fell to Lucas Paqueta after a deflection. On his own, the West Ham striker quickly rushed towards the goal, but Levakovic saved it.

In the 74th minute, Levakovic denied that Richarlison and Neymar missed the rebound as they chased down Pele’s goal in the Brazil jersey. It was nullified again on 76 when Levakovic ran to cut the corner on his shot and cleverly drove off his back leg to prevent the shot from entering the wicket.

Taking the ball well on the 80th gave Brazil another chance. Anthony went down to Casemiro, his Manchester United colleague, inside the area. He crossed the area for Rodrigo, who dispatched Paqueta whose low drive was stopped by Levakovic.

Even if Brazil retains possession late on, nothing will come of it. One shot from substitute Pedro Levaković slotted home easily in stoppage time in the second half.

In the first half of extra time, Brazil looked brighter on both sides. In the 96th, Anthony Borna Sosa put him on the skates with a spinning motion for a dangerous attack that ended up going nowhere when Neymar’s shot was blocked. A few minutes later, Rodrygo sent a puzzling cross towards Paqueta’s far post, but Sosa did a very good job of preventing it from reaching him.

At the end of the first half, Croatia had a good chance. Bruno Petkovic somehow got past a pair of Brazilian defenders and Marcelo Brozovic feigned what was a terrible effort as the Inter man missed his chance over the bar.

Neymar will make Brozovic pay for this defeat a few minutes later. As much as you want, the former Barcelona player ripped through the area, slashing past the Croatian defensive line before firing his shot from an acute angle to send Education City fans in Brazil into a manic pause. It was an iconic Neymar goal that you will watch for years. The goal put PSG level with international scorers with Pele, the Brazilian record 77.

But he wasn’t the one who made the decision after all.

Minutes after Gvardiol, who was excellent throughout, grabbed possession from Fred to block a promising Brazil attack, Croatia would get their goal through Petkovic. Entering the penalty area, a Dinamo Zagreb man’s shot was deflected off Marquinhos enough to leave Alisson powerless to stop it until the match was leveled and a penalty shoot-out was forced.

Before that happened, Levaković scored his 11th goal in injury time, denying Casemiro a shot from close range to ensure the match was a penalty shootout.

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