World Cup Friday Recap: Croatia shocks No. 1-ranked Brazil on penalty kicks, while Argentina wins thriller vs. the Dutch to advance to semis

Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock (13655744fr) Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic of Croatia and his team mates celebrate after winning the game after a penalty shoot out Croatia v Brazil, FIFA World Cup 2022, Quarter Final, Football, Education City Stadium, Doha, Qatar – 09 Dec 2022

World Cup Friday Recap: Croatia shocks No. 1-ranked Brazil on penalty kicks, while Argentina wins thriller vs. the Dutch to advance to semis

Recapping the Friday action:

CROATIA 0, BRAZIL 0 (Croatia win 4-2 on penalty kicks)

  • What: World Cup, Quarterfinals
  • When: Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 @ 9 a.m. CT
  • Where: Education City Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • FIFA World Ranking: Brazil (No. 1) vs. Croatia (No. 12)

Croatia shocked the world once again by defeating No. 1-ranked Brazil via penalty kicks (4-2) on Friday at Education City Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Brazil led 1-0 late during the extra time period after a brilliant goal by Neymar, but Bruno Petkovic netted the equalizer for Croatia in the 117th minute to force penalty kicks just five minutes later. It was the fourth quarterfinals loss for Brazil in their past five World Cup trips and their second straight defeat in the final eight after losing to Belgium 2-1 in 2018. Friday’s thrilling upset marked the four straight knockout stage victory via penalty kicks for the “Chequereds,” and their second in less than one week after besting Japan 3-1 on penalties in the Round of 16. Croatia also beat Denmark and Russia via penalty kicks at the 2018 World Cup in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively.

It was the first-ever victory over Brazil for the No. 12-ranked Croatians in five matches, as they calmly sunk all four of their penalty kick attempts en route to the win. Casemiro and Pedro converted the second and third penalty attempts for Brazil, but the Seleção’s fourth try by Marquinhos clanked off the left post and out, dropping the 28-year-old to his knees in defeat.

Although Croatia and Brazil finished dead even on time of possession, it was Brazil who dominated the expected goal department and big shot chances in the box score. Brazil registered a whopping 21 total shots – including 15 inside the box – and 11 shots on goal, compared to just 11 total shots and one shot on goal for the Croatians. Brazil also finished the match with seven corner kicks to only three for their European foes and 2.56 expected goals to just 0.56 for Croatia. Croatia’s defense held its own in the final box score, however, besting Brazil in tackles (17 to 11) and duels won (68 to 56), according to

Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was also credited with 11 saves on the day, including the ever-important penalty kick save on Brazil’s first attempt off the right foot of the 21-year-old Rodrygo of Real Madrid. Livakovic now has 20 saves at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and enters the semifinals surely as one of the favorites for FIFA’s Golden Glove award.

Brazil had outscored the “Fiery Boys” 10-2 combined in the two nations’ four previous matches, with their last two wins against Croatia coming at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups. All four of Brazil’s quarterfinal losses since 2006 have all come at the hands of European nations.

Neymar’s goal in the 106th minute came on an assist from Lucas Paquetá to break the 0-0 deadlock, and it most importantly marked his 77th all-time international goal for Brazil to move him into a tie with the legendary Pelé. The 30-year-old Neymar of PSG, after receiving a pass from Paquetá, broke past multiple defenders in the box and sidestepped Livakovic before thumping a shot into the top of the net to give Brazil a one-goal lead. It was the eighth overall World Cup goal for Neymar – all coming since 2014 – and his second in Qatar, also moving him into a tie for sixth place on Brazil’s all-time World Cup goal scorers with Leônidas and Rivaldo.

ARGENTINA 2, NETHERLANDS 2 (Argentina win 4-3 on penalty kicks)

  • What: World Cup, Quarterfinals
  • When: Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 @ 1 a.m. CT
  • Where: Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)
  • FIFA World Ranking: Netherlands (No. 8) vs. Argentina (No. 3)

Argentina outlasted the Netherlands 4-3 on penalty kicks to advance to the World Cup semifinals on Friday at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. Messi assisted on Argentina’s first goal, scored the second, and converted his country’s first attempt in the penalty kick round in what turned out to be a highly-contentious quarterfinal contest between top 10-ranked teams.

Friday’s match resulted in a World Cup record 17 yellow cards issued by the referees, many of which were handed out late in the second half after a skirmish in which both benches cleared and chaos ensued on the pitch. Despite a furious two-goal rally in the final 17 minutes of regulation time, the Dutch could not convert when it mattered most in the end, missing their first two penalty kick attempts and eventually losing 4-3 to the Argentines, despite three straight makes to end the penalty round by Teun Koopmeiners, Wout Weghorst and Luuk De Jong.

It was Virgil van Dijk and Steven Burghuis who missed the first two penalty attempts for the Netherlands; however, both being blocked by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who also registered multiple saves in Argentina’s COPA American semifinal win versus Colombia in 2021.

Messi, Leandro Paredes, and Gonzalo Montiel calmly netted the first three penalty shots for Argentina to put them ahead 3-1, but drama entered the pitch when Enzo Fernández missed the fourth attempt, and all of a sudden, the Dutch were just one behind with a do or die shot for Lautaro Martinez looming. The 25-year-old Martinez of Inter Milan didn’t fold under the pressure of the big stage, however, sinking Argentina’s fifth and final penalty shot to put them in the World Cup semifinals for the sixth time since 1930 and second in their past four World Cup trips.

The 24-year-old Nahuel Molina of Atletico gave Argentina an early 1-0 lead in the 35th minute when he found the net on an assist from Lionel Messi, and it was Messi who followed suit in the second half with a penalty kick score in the 73rd minute for what many thought to be the game-clinching goal. The Dutch countered quickly, however, cutting the deficit back to one with a blasting header from the 6-foot-6 forward Wout Weghorst on an assist from Steven Berghuis.

Weghorst, who had initially come into the game as a reserve in the 78th minute, struck again, this time finding the net in the final minute of stoppage time (90’ + 10’) when he fielded a grounded free kick pass from Teun Koopmeiners and struck the ball into the right corner of the net with less than one minute before the referee blew the regulation time whistle.

It was a seemingly improbable way to force the extra time period for the No. 8-ranked Netherlands, who appeared all but eliminated after trailing 2-0 in the 73rd minute after Messi’s penalty kick score. That penalty score marked the 10th overall World Cup goal for Messi, who now moves into the top 10 World Cup goal scorers of all time. With the goal, Messi also now moves into a tie for first place in World Cup goals scored for Argentina with Gabriel Batistuta.

Argentina lost the overall possession battle but dominated the ball in the extra time period and finished with edges in total shots (14 to six), shots on goal (five to two), and corner kicks (eight to two). The Dutch were whistled for a whopping 30 fouls, compared to 18 for Argentina.

The Dutch and Argentina had played each other nine times between 1974 and 2014, coming into Friday’s quarterfinal match, with their most recent matchup quite possibly being the most epic one when Argentina defeated Holland on penalty kicks in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.

The Netherlands still holds the record for playing the most World Cup finals without ever winning the finals, with three second-place finishes coming in 1974, 1978, and 2010, losing to West Germany, Argentina, and Spain, respectively. The Dutch also continued their uber-impressive streak on Friday of having never lost a World Cup match in regular time by more than one goal.

Quarterfinals/Knockout Stage Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Who: England (No. 5) vs. France (No. 4)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)
  • Who: Portugal (No. 9) vs. Morocco (No. 22)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Al Thumama Stadium (Doha, Qatar)

Semifinals/Knockout Stage Schedule

Tuesday, Dec. 13

  • Who: Argentina (No. 3) vs. Croatia (No. 12)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

Wednesday, Dec. 14

  • Who: Winner of Portugal/Morocco vs. Winner of France/England
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)

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