Croatia make Brazil pay the penalty in World Cup

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Croatia players celebrate defeating Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals on Friday in Qatar. – AP

2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia eliminated five-time champions Brazil 4-2 via kicks from the penalty spot in the World Cup quarter-final at Education City Stadium in Qatar on Friday.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, Brazilian star Neymar da Silva Santos executed a brilliant run, assisted by Lucas Paqueta, to score the opener, ten minutes into the first half of extra time.

However, Croatia responded with a late break in the 116th minute which saw Bruno Petkovic rifle a shot past Brazilian goalie Alisson Becker to level the score.

Petkovic’s shot grazed Brazilian defender Marquinhos and shifted the balls trajectory slightly to the left, which put the ball further away from a diving Becker and into the back of the net.

After 120 minutes of play, penalties would determine a winner.

Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic took the first penalty and slotted home to grab an early advantage. But Brazil’s first penalty taker, Rodrygo Silva de Goes, had his shot saved by custodian Dominik Livakovic, and set a nervy tone for the remaining kickers.

The Europeans scored their next three kicks from the spot.

Brazil, however, scored their next two but had their fourth and decisive penalty, taken by Marquinhos, bang off the left post and out; and with it, Brazil’s dreams of a historic sixth World Cup win.