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Croatia beat Brazil on penalties to go through to the World Cup semi-final, they are warriors

Croatia beat Brazil on penalties to go through to the World Cup semi-final, they are warriors

They will face either Argentina or the Netherlands in the semi-final.

In the biggest shock of this tournament so far, Croatia secured a place in this winter's World Cup semi-final after beating favourites Brazil on penalties.

After a far from exhilarating first-half at the Education Stadium, things finally sparked into life in the second-half, when Brazil threatened to open the scoring.

Tite's side, who beat South Korea, Switzerland and Serbia on their way to the quarters, piled on the pressure and finally, after 105 minutes played, Neymar equalled Pele's record after rounding Dominik Livakovic.

But with moments remaining, Bruno Petkovic scored with a deflected effort in the 188th minute to send the game to penalties – a scenario nobody expected.

The ever-reliable Nikola Vlasic confidently blasted his effort down the middle to give Croatia a 1-0 lead in the shoot-out, before Rodrigo's penalty was saved by the outstanding Livakovic.

Croatia soon made it 2-0 with a confident spot-kick and as a result, all of the pressure was on Manchester United midfielder Casemiro. But the Brazilian midfielder converted from 12 yards.

Luka Modric, one of the tournaments best players this winter – and the man who swapped shirts with Casemiro during the game – then made it 3-1 with a cool finish.

Tite's side, to their credit, made it 3-2 but Mislav Orsic showed incredible composure to get them a 4-2 lead.

And then, in the biggest shock of the tournament thus far, Brazil missed their final penalty and Croatia go through to face either Argentina or the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

After the full-time whistle, Brazil's joint-leading goalscorer Neymar could be seen in tears as Brazil's hopes of lifting another World Cup was left in tatters.

Before kick-off, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic was hopeful of his side's chances against the tournament favourites.

“Realistically, Brazil is the most powerful and best team in this World Cup," he said. "When you look at their selection of players, quality, breadth and value, it’s terrifying.

"We have a big test ahead of us and a difficult task against a team that likes to compete. They will need to prepare very well for that match, but we have nothing to fear.

"We have to go into the match with a lot of faith and confidence, look for our opportunities and enjoy football. Extract Brazil, that’s it. Maybe it’s too early, it would be better if it were the final.

"Brazil is the favourite, but we will not give up. We will try to prepare well and rest, give our best and fight back. They are not a team that tolerates someone else having possession.”

Thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Brazil, Croatia, Football World Cup