To get there, the players of Zlatko Dalic, always very well organized and above all disciplined, had also achieved the perfect shot in the last moments of the match, by equalizing by Bruno Petkovic (117th), on their only shot on target (in 9 attempts). The result may seem harsh for the Brazilians, whose domination rose crescendo after an initial period of observation. Their only fault perhaps is to have believed to have done the hardest part by opening the score. As a result, they have been eliminated in the last five clashes against European teams in the World Cup.
Conversely, regulars of these meetings and finalists of the last edition, the Croats continue to write their great history, becoming the nation which has played the most penalty shootouts without losing a single one in the history of the event, tied with Germany (4). And to think that all this could have been simpler if, before the epilogue, dramatic for some and magical for others, Marcelo Brozovic (103rd), in an ideal position, had not seen his shot fly away to 0-0 . In the semi-finals, against Argentina or the Netherlands, it would be better to avoid missing this kind of opportunity. Or have a strong heart.
The player: Livakovic still in superhero mode
Already decisive against the Japanese, Dominik Livakovic was again decisive against the galaxy of Brazilian stars. Author of eleven saves, a first for a Croatian goalkeeper in the World Cup, including five of high class (47th, 48th, 55th, 66th, 76th and 120th + 2), on his line or face-to-face, the doorman Dinamo Zagreb (27 years old, 38 caps) held his team at arm’s length, even if he gave in on Neymar’s perforation (105 + 1). But in the fateful exercise, he still achieved feats by repelling Rodrygo’s attempt, before seeing his post replace him on that of Marquinhos.
Croatia will play in Qatar their third World Cup semi-final, the second in a row, after that lost in 1998 against the Blues (1-2) and that won in 2018 against England (2-1 ap). All for his sixth participation in a World Cup.