2022: Croatia 1-1 Brazil AET (4-2 on pens): Croatia stun five-time world champions in dramatic penalty shootout win

Croatia stunned five-time world champions Brazil with a dramatic 4-2 penalty shootout win at the Education City Stadium to book a place in the World Cup semi-finals – one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history.

Brazil looked to be labouring to an extra-time win over their stubborn opponents thanks to a moment of magic from forward Neymar, who wrote himself into Brazilian folklore by drawing level on 77 goals with one of the nation’s all-time greats Pele.

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Croatia probed, pragmatically, throughout while restricting and stifling Brazil’s usual rhythm before succumbing to Neymar’s brilliance in the first half of extra-time – it was very nearly checkmate.

However, there was a late twist in the enchanting tale when Bruno Petkovic latched onto Mislav Orsic’s cross, benefitting from a cruel Marquinhos deflection which wrong-footed Alisson, to net the latest equalising goal scored in a World Cup game, taking the quarter-final to penalties.

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Rodrygo, Brazil’s first taker, and Marquinhos, their last, then both missed their spot-kicks in the deciding shootout, while Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Luka Modric and Orsic completed a perfect Croatian set, ensuring progression to the last four of the tournament.

Croatia have, astonishingly, reached at least the semi-final on all three occasions they have made it safely out of the World Cup group stage (1998, 2018 and 2022).

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They will face either Argentina or the Netherlands, who play later on Friday night, for a place in the final.

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