Tops & Flops | Croatia’s penalty magic dumps Brazil out

Despite Neymar’s excellent strike in extra time, Brazil were knocked out of the FIFA World Cup after a defeat to Croatia on penalties.

Neymar becomes Brazil’s highest scorer

In many ways and especially at that point, Neymar became Brazil’s joint highest goalscorer at the perfect point. The goal came in extra time and many thought that Brazil had done it against a stiff Croatia side. While it wasn’t to be and Neymar will always associate the record with the bad memory, it is a record to be proud of considering he equalled Pele’s record.

Croatia do it again

Croatia have now beaten Brazil, Japan, England, Russia and Denmark in either extra time or penalties since the 2018 World Cup and they have become the masters of winning tight games after full time. Like they did in 2018, they did go 1-0 down but they came back in extra time to equalise and win the game. To do things like that regularly takes a lot of resolve.

Livakovic shines, again

Without Dominik Livakovic, Croatia would have lost in normal time. He made several great saves to keep Brazil out and then came up with his usual heroics during penalties too. If anything, the goalkeeper was Croatia’s man of the match and it will put some more eyes of bigger clubs on him.


Brazil’s poor record v European teams continues

Brazil have not beaten a European team in the knockout stages of the World Cup since 2002 and they continued the pattern. Despite it being a decent performance, Brazil could never make their showing count and that is all that matters at the biggest stage of international football.

Neymar’s last World Cup?

Neymar has been one of the best players of the current generation and there is no two ways about it. But Brazil have faced the trauma of failing to win the tournament with him in the team for three editions now and Neymar is now 30. There have been rumours murmurs in the past, but this may prove to be his last World Cup.


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