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The lords of the extra time: Croatia eliminates Brazil on penalties and boy does it hurt | CHRONICLE

When they have repeated to you over and over again that you are in the favorite team to take the cup home, that in 1958 it was Pelé, in 1962 it was Mané (Garrincha), in 1970 “the squad”, in 1994 Romario and in 2002 Fenomeno (like this, with an accent at the end of both speeches), even if it’s not easy for you and in front you have to defeat a group of six-foot-two Balkans and with one of them, whose height isn’t that great but, oh, By chance, it’s the Ballon d’Or, what do you have left? Behave, dance included or not, at the height. This time, with the result posted, we can conclude that they were not there.

“Brazil is having a hard time”said the commentator on television after Modric, 15 minutes into the first half, stole the ball from Casemiro and generated an attack of Croatia. In this dynamic of the unthinkable -beyond the magnificent definition of Dante Panzeri- the Europeans began dominating the pace, strategically positioning themselves in spaces, cutting the short pass choices of Brazil and forcing talent owners to be a bit harsh.


Two ideologically opposed times

Possession was 45% for each team and 10% in dispute, with a similar balance even up to the fouls committed. At 40 minutes and one knew that he was facing a match of those that neither the bookmaker nor the kioskero had foreseen.

The neutral spectator expected between a win and a match with Brazilian magic with the mischief of Vinicius, neymar and the dance of Mr. Tité. However, those who were in front of the TV or on the phone watching the game found that the best player in the first half was a Croatian who did not sound familiar to many: Josip Juránovic, a neutral-faced man with a mustache who plays for Celtic from Scotland and who did not let the star of Real Madrid or PSG pass by.

The Croats indulge in euphoria after beating Brazil.  (Photo: AFP)

Despite the fact that the second half was dominated by Rio de Janeiro, Croatia showed the world that Brazil It wasn’t a machine, but a group of very capable footballers who could be hurt. .

Everything ended goalless in an exciting game but in which the circuits that the Brazilians had built in their previous games had no connection.

At the start of the first overtime neymar he took out of rabona sending the message that this is how we play, we are the best and we are not going to lose it. At the end of the same period he scored a double-walled goal, which will surely be in the top five of the World Cup, entering like a yellow train with unusual ability and stacking square players. He seemed all on track, however, one last surprise was needed.

A plot twist to study

With five minutes to go, Croatia pushed with more heart than anything else, appealing to that miraculous moment that this time did come. Brazil, despite having the victory in their pocket, knew that they could succumb in one play. After an attack from the left, Bruno Petkovic, the Dynamo Zagreb striker, scored to the surprise of all and sundry and awarded penalties.

Croatia had played four definitions on penalties in its entire history in the World Cups and had not lost in any. Brazil, for its part, of all in which it had participated, only lost the one against Platini’s France in 1986.

The inconsolable Neymar.  Modric tried to calm him down.

The shootout was started by Rodrygo, the Real Madrid forward who saw his shot saved by Livakovic, the goalkeeper who had already been a hero in the definition against Japan. From then on, the Croatian penalties could not even be guessed by Allison, who in more than one jumped to the opposite side of where the ball went. For Brazil’s fourth penalty, PSG captain Marquinhos stepped in front of the ball and tried to adjust it against a post, but it hit the base and bounced wide. Brazil it stayed at 2 and Croatia, with the 4 scored, surprised the entire planet.

There will be no carnival. There will be no samba. To remain silent.

Source: Elcomercio

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